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Having traced the course of all things 
accurately from the first." 


T. & T. CLARK 


Copyright, 1920, by Charles Scribner s Sons 
for the United States of America 

Printed by the Scribner Press 
New York, U. S. A, 








The work of the last fifteen years has created new interest 
in the writings of Luke. The relation of Luke s Gospel to 
Mark s Gospel and the Logia of Jesus has sharply defined his 
own critical methods and processes. The researches of Har- 
nack, Hobart, and Ramsay have restored the credit of Luke 
with many critics who had been carried away by the criticism 
of Baur, and who looked askance upon the value of Luke as 
the historian of early Christianity. It has been like mining 
digging now here, now there. The items in Luke s books that 
were attacked have been taken up one by one. The work has 
been slow and piecemeal, of necessity. But it is now possible 
to gather together into a fairly complete picture the results. 
It is a positively amazing vindication of Luke. The force of 
the argument is cumulative and tremendous. One needs to 
have the patience to work through the details with candor and 
a willingness to see all the facts with no prejudice against Luke 
or against the supernatural origin of Christianity. It is not 
claimed that every difficulty in Luke s books has been solved, 
but so many have been triumphantly removed that Luke is 
entitled to the benefit of the doubt in the rest or at any rate to 
patience on our part till further research can make a report. 
Luke should at least be treated as fairly as Thucydides or 
Polybius when he makes a statement that as yet has no other 
support or seems in conflict with other writers. Modern 
scholars are no longer on the defensive about Luke. His 
books can be used with confidence. The work of research has 
thrown light in every direction and the story is fascinating to 
every lover of truth. 

These lectures, delivered to the Northfield Christian Workers 
Conference, August 2-16, 1919, at the invitation of Mr. W. 



R. Moody, have been greatly enlarged for publication. But 
the toil has been brightened by the memory of the crowds in 
Sage Chapel who first heard them. 

"The long series of discoveries by Sir W. M. Ramsay and 
his coadjutors in Asia Minor has established the Acts narra 
tive in a position from which later research is unlikely to de 
throne it." (London Times Literary Supplement, March 13, 
1920.) But the work of research goes on with vigor. New 
books continue to come out concerning Luke s writings, like 
Carpenter s Christianity According to S. Luke and McLach- 
lan s St. Luke : The Man and His Work. Both of them I found 
useful and stimulating. Vol. I of The Beginnings of Christianity, 
by Foakes-Jackson and, Kirsopp Lake, came too late to use. 
It is an ambitious attempt to set forth the historical atmos 
phere of the Acts, and assumes the thesis that Jesus preached 
only repentance with no world programme such as later Chris 
tianity provided. Lieutenant MacKinlay also has in press a 
new book on Luke. 

I have to thank Rev. J. McKee Adams, Louisville, Kentucky, 
who put the manuscript in typewritten form and for other 
tokens of interest in the work. The splendid Indices were pre 
pared by Rev. J. Allan Easley, Jr., Manning, South Carolina, 
whose careful work will make the volume more useful to stu 
dents. A few of the chapters have appeared as articles in jour 
nals, whose publishers have graciously agreed to their use in 
this volume. 


August, 1920. 















JESUS 142 




ACTS 179 



XVII. THE SPEECHES IN THE ACTS. ... . . <. * . . 217 

XVIII. A BROAD OUTLOOK ON LIFE . .,-..-. . . . 231 

INDEX 243 



"The former treatise I made, O Theophilus" (Acts 1 : 1) 

1. The Importance of the Lukan Writings. Modern research 
has revived interest in the Gospel according to Luke and the 
Acts of the Apostles. In part this fact is due to the natural 
reaction against the extreme view of Baur, who bluntly said 
that the statements in Acts "can only be looked upon as 
intentional deviations from historic truth in the interest of the 
special tendency which they possess." l It is true that Luke in 
Acts is not a blind Paulinist, as Moffatt 2 shows. Both Peter 
and Paul are heroes with Luke, but the weaknesses and short 
comings of both apostles appear. Undoubtedly Luke reveals 
his sympathies with Paul, but he is not hostile to Peter and is 
quite capable 3 of doing justice to both Peter and Paul. The 
work of Baur has not discredited Luke in the final result as a 
writer who sought to cover up the friction between Peter and 
Paul and between Barnabas and Paul. The struggles in early 
Christianity stand out with sufficient clearness in the Acts, and 
it is now seen to be quite possible that Luke has drawn the 
narrative with a true perspective. Schweitzer 4 argues that the 
account in Acts is more intelligible than that in the Pauline 
Epistles: "When the Tubingen school set up the axiom that 
Acts is less trustworthy than the Epistles, they made things 
easy for themselves" easy, one may add, by slurring over 
plain facts in the Acts. 

1 Baur, Paid, vol. I, p. 108, 

2 Intr. to the Literature of the N. T., p. 302. 

3 Ibid., p, 302. 4 Paul and His Interpreters, p. 126. 



But Baur compelled diligent study of the Acts. The critics, 
like the Beroeans after Paul preached, went to " examining the 
scriptures daily, whether these things were so" (Acts 17 : 11). 
As a result of a half-century of such research Maurice Jones 1 
can say: "There is no book in the whole of the New Testament 
whose position in the critical world has been so enhanced by 
recent research as the Acts of the Apostles." It cannot, how 
ever, be claimed that modern critics are at one either in cred 
iting the Gospel and the Acts to Luke or in attaching a higher 
value to the so-called Lukan writings. The long prejudice 
against these books has not entirely disappeared. Pfleiderer 2 
can still claim that "the Gospel of Luke was probably written 
at the beginning of the second century by an unknown heathen 
Christian," though he admits that Luke, "the pupil of Paul," 
wrote the memoirs of his journey with Paul (the "we" sections 
of Acts). Jiilicher 3 considers it "a romantic ideal" to attribute 
these books to Luke. And Weizsacker 1 as late as 1902 says: 
"The historical value of the narrative in Acts shrinks until it 
reaches a vanishing-point." But these are modern protests 
against the new evidence that were to be expected. The judg 
ment of Maurice Jones about the new estimate placed upon 
the Acts and upon Luke s Gospel remains true. 

Much of the credit for this outcome is due to Sir W. M. 
Ramsay, who was himself at first a disciple of Baur. It was 
patient research that proved that Baur was wrong and that 
enabled Ramsay to reconstruct the world of Luke and Paul 
in the light of their own writings and the archseological dis 
coveries made by Ramsay and others in Asia Minor. The 
results of this revolution in Ramsay s literary outlook appear 
in his various volumes, like The Historical Geography of Asia 
Minor, The Church in tJie Roman Empire, St. Paul the Traveller 
and Roman Citizen, Luke the Physician, Pauline and Other 
Studies, The Cities of St. Paul, Was Christ Born at Bethlehem? 
The Bearing of Recent Discovery on the Trustworthiness of the 
New Testament. 

It is not too much to say that these volumes mark an epoch 

1 The New Testament in the Twentieth Century, p. 227. 

2 Christian Origins, p. 238. 

3 Introduction to the N. T., pp. 447 f. 

4 Apostolic Age, pp. 106 f . With this Von Soden agrees, History of Early 
Christian Lit., p. 243. 


in the study of the writings of Luke and Paul. Ramsay is 
conscious that he began with a strong current of adverse criti 
cism against him. He boldly asks 1 the critics: "Shall we 
hear evidence or not?" Ramsay 2 sharply says: "Criticism 
for a time examined the work attributed to Luke like a corpse, 
and the laborious autopsy was fruitless. Nothing in the whole 
history of literary criticism has been so waste and dreary as 
great part of the modern critical study of Luke." This charge 
is true, but Ramsay 3 is able to say: "It has for some time been 
evident to all New Testament scholars who were not hidebound 
in old prejudice that there must be a new departure in Lukan 
criticism. The method of dissection had failed." Ramsay 
took the new path that has led out of the wilderness. 

Others were at work along different lines. Hawkins 4 had 
done real service on the synoptic problem and had brought 
into sharp relief the place of Luke s Gospel in relation to Mark 
and Matthew. Hobart 5 had shown that the author of both 
Gospel and Acts employed medical terms to a surprising de 
gree. The evidence pointed to Luke and reinforced the work 
of Ramsay. 

In time Adolph Harnack was led to notice the work of these 
men. He was convinced that they were right and he reversed 
his position and took up the cudgels for the Lukan authorship 
of both Gospel and Acts. He says: 6 "All the mistakes which 
have been made in New Testament criticism have been focussed 
into the criticism of the Acts of the Apostles." That is a dar 
ing statement from the new convert who ridicules "the intol 
erable pedantry" of the critics who cannot see the facts for 
their theories. Harnack is aware of the supercilious scorn of 
many who have refused to notice the arguments in favor of 
Luke. He sees also the great importance 7 of Luke s writings: 
"The genuine epistles of St. Paul, the writings of St. Luke, 
and the history of Eusebius are the pillars of primitive Chris 
tian history. This fact has not yet been sufficiently recognized 
in the case of the Lukan writings; partly because critics are 
convinced that these writings are not to be assigned to St. 

1 Pauline and Other Studies, chap. I. 

2 Luke the Physician, p. 3. 

3 Ibid. 4 Horce Synopticce. 

5 The Medical Language of St. Luke, 

6 Luke the Physician, p. 122. 7 Luke the Physician, p. 1. 


Luke. And yet, even if they were right in their suppositions, 
the importance of the Acts of the Apostles at least still remains 
fundamental. However, I hope to have shown in the follow 
ing pages that critics have gone astray in this question, and 
that the traditional view holds good. The Lukan writings 
thus recover their own excelling value as historical authorities." 
Harnack, as we shall see, does not rank Luke as high as Ram 
say does, but he has definitely championed the Lukan author 
ship of both the Gospel and Acts. Renan felt the charm of 
Luke s Gospel as a literary production when he pronounced it 
" the most beautiful book ever written." 

The historical worth of the Gospel and Acts comes up for 
formal discussion in succeeding chapters. Sanday thinks that 
Ramsay s "treatment of St. Luke as a historian seems too opti 
mistic" when he ranks him as the foremost ancient historian, 
even above Thucydides. But, whatever view one holds of the 
Lukan writings, no serious student of the New Testament can 
neglect them. The author writes two books that interpret the 
origins of Christianity. How far has he been successful in this 
effort ? He claims that he took pains to do it with care. Crit 
icism has challenged his claims. One cannot complain of 
criticism per se. Carpenter 1 well says: "Let us by all means 
have historical criticism, but let it be genuinely historical." It 
is not best to prejudge the case before we examine the evidence, 
and Chase 2 sums the matter up thus: "But it may be safely 
said that the certain results of archaeological research strongly 
confirm the accuracy and truthfulness of the author of the 
Acts." Let the facts speak for themselves. 

2. The Same Author for Both Gospel and Acts. The author of 
the Gospel and the Acts makes the distinct claim of identity 
in Acts 1:1:" The former treatise I made, O Theophilus, con 
cerning all that Jesus began both to do and teach." Theophi 
lus is clearly a proper name, "not an imaginary nom de guerre 
for the typical catechumen, nor a conventional title for the 
average Christian reader." 3 He was a Christian who had 
already been catechized 4 (Luke 1 : 4) and who wished further 
instruction. It is probable that Theophilus was a man of rank 

1 Christianity According to S. Luke, p. ix. 

2 The Credibility of the Book of the Acts of the Apostles, p. 8. 

3 Moffatt, Introduction, p. 262. 

4 MI_ of. Apollos in Acts 18 : 25. 


because of the epithet "most excellent" 1 (Luke 1:3), which is 
"technical and distinctive" 2 for the equestrian rank (cf. Acts 
24 : 3; 26 : 25). Ramsay doubts if a Roman officer in the first 
century would be willing to bear the name Theophilus, and 
suggests that it was his baptismal name which Luke employs 
because "it was dangerous for a Roman of rank to be recog 
nized as a Christian." Be that as it may, identity of author 
ship is claimed by the address to Theophilus. It is hardly 
likely that there were two authors who used his name to prove 
identity. It has been suggested that Luke was a freedman 
brought up in the home of Theophilus, who was his patron, 
and who defrayed the expense of the publication of both of 
Luke s books. 3 Hayes 4 conjectures that Theophilus, who lived 
in Antioch, educated Luke at the university, and that he was 
also a schoolmate of Barnabas and Saul there. 

We are not here arguing that the Acts shows unity of author 
ship. That point must be assumed for the present. The 
proof will be given later that the writer of the "we" sections 
is the author of the whole of Acts, though he used a variety of 
sources, as he did in the writing of the Gospel (Luke 1 : 1-4). 
The point that is now urged is that whoever wrote one book 
wrote the other. The same man wrote both Gospel and Acts. 
It is not necessary to argue that the author contemplated a 
third volume because of his use of "first" 5 in Acts 1:1. That 
nicety in the use of language was not common in the Koine 6 
where the dual form had nearly vanished. To-day we speak 
of first wife when a man had only two, and we talk of the 
first story of a two-story house. This item plays no real part 
in the argument one way or the other. 

1 xp&rura. 2 Ramsay, St. Paul the Traveller, p. 388. 

3 One thinks of Maecenas and Horace. "This was the recognized prac 
tice of the time." Moffatt, Introduction, p. 313. 

4 The Synoptic Gospels and the Book of Acts, p. 197. 

5 rbv xpw-rov X6yov. Cf . Robertson, Grammar of the Greek New Testa 
ment in the Light of Historical Research, p. 280. Luke never employs 
jcp6Tepo<;. The papyri nearly always use xp6>To<;. 

8 The Koine is the name given to the Greek current throughout the 
Greco-Roman world after the conquests of Alexander the Great. It was 
the language common to all classes and nations and it was the means of 
communication practically everywhere. It was employed in the vernacu 
lar, as is seen in the papyri of Egypt, and literary men like Polybius and 
Plutarch wrote in it also. The New Testament writers used the Koine 
as a matter of course. 


In spite of the variety of sources employed in both the Gos 
pel and the Acts, there is the same general vocabulary and 
style in both books. This argument has been well developed 
by Friedrich. 1 It ought not to be necessary to argue this 
point, since "the linguistic and other peculiarities which dis 
tinguish the Gospel are equally prominent in the Acts." 2 The 
words peculiar to Luke in both Gospel and Acts are more 
numerous than those peculiar to any other New Testament 
writer, except Paul (counting the Pastoral Epistles). 3 The 
argument of Hobart in his Medical Language of St. Luke applies 
to both the Gospel and the Acts, as we shall see, and is proof 
of identity of authorship. There is little opposition among 
critics to the Lukan authorship of the Gospel. " If the Gospel 
were the only writing ascribed to his authorship, we should 
probably raise no objection against this record of ancient tra 
dition; for we have no sufficient reason for asserting that a dis 
ciple of Paul could not have composed this work." 4 It is with 
the Acts that critics have trouble. De Wette doubted the 
Lukan authorship of the Gospel, and Scholten argued that the 
same man could not have written both Gospel and Acts. 
Harnack 5 grows facetious over this argument: "Seeing how one 
critic trustfully rests upon the authority of another, we may 
congratulate ourselves that some accident has prevented 
Scholten s hypothesis that the third gospel and the Acts have 
different authors from finding its way into the great stream 
of criticism and so becoming a dogma in these days." The 
line of attack has not been to show that Luke s Gospel and 
Acts are unlike, but that the Acts was not written by a com 
panion of Paul. To the Acts, then, let us go. Who wrote the 

3. The Author of Acts a Companion of Paul. Here is where 
the real battle has raged. Very few critics have the hardihood 

1 Das Lukas Evangelium und die Apostdgeschichte Werlx, dessdben Ver- 
fasser (1890). 

2 Supernatural Religion, vol. Ill, p. 32. This concession is noteworthy. 
8 Cadbury, The Style and Literary Method of Luke, p. 3. Cf . also Vogel, 

Zur Characteristik des Lukas nach Sprache und Stil, p. 11. 

4 J. Weiss, Die Schriften des N. T.; das Lukas-Evangelium, 1906, p. 378. 
So, then, J. Weiss argues still that "the Lukan writings as a whole are the 
work of a man of the postapostolic generation." But Loofs regards Luke 
as the author of the Acts (What Is the Truth about Jesus Christ f, p. 91). 

5 l/uke the Physician^ pp. 7, 21, n. 2. 


to say that Luke did not write any part of the Acts. Schmiedel 
admits that the same man wrote the Gospel and the Acts, but 
denies that he was a companion of Paul. Holtzmann 1 holds 
Luke to be the author of the "we" sections only. Schleier- 
macher had credited the "we" sections to Timothy. A host of 
critics (Baur, Clemen, De Wette, Hausrath, Hilgenfeld, Holtz 
mann, Jiilicher, Knopf, Overbeck, Pfleiderer, Schurer, Spitta, 
Von Soden, Wendt, J. Weiss, Zeller) have reached " the certain 
conclusion that tradition here is wrong the Acts cannot have 
been composed by a companion and fellow worker of St. Paul." 2 
But this judgment of critical infallibility has been reversed by 
the steady work of Blass, Credner, Harnack, Hawkins, Hobart, 
Klostermann, Plummer, Ramsay, Vogel, Zahn. Plummer 3 
courageously says: "It is perhaps no exaggeration to say that 
nothing in Biblical criticism is more certain than the statement 
that the author of the Acts was a companion of St. Paul." 
There is no manner of doubt that the author of the "we" sec 
tions of Acts (16 : 10-40; 20 : 6-28 : 31) was a companion of 
Paul. There is no other way to explain the use of "we" and 
" us." It may have been a diary or travel document or travel 
notes, but the author was with Paul. 

Is he the same writer as the author of the Acts as a whole? 
It is here that patient labor has borne results. Klostermann 4 
has dealt carefully with the "we" sections. B. Weiss in his 
commentary on Acts and Hawkins in his Horce Synopticce 
have proven the unity of the Book of Acts. There may (or 
may not) have been an Aramaic source for the earlier part of 
Acts, as Torrey claims. 5 We shall look into that later. Har 
nack 6 with great minuteness has compared the Greek of the 
"we" sections with that of the rest of the Acts. He says: 7 "It 
has often been stated and often proved that the we sections 
in vocabulary, in syntax, and in style are most intimately 
bound up with the whole work, and that this work itself (in 
cluding the Gospel), in spite of all diversity in its parts, is dis 
tinguished by a grand unity of literary form." With great 
detail Harnack follows this line of argument in his Luke the 

1 Einl., p. 383. 2 Harnack, Luke the Physician, p. 6. 

8 Commentary on St. Luke, p. xii. 

4 Vindicice Lucance, 1866. 

6 The Composition and Date of Acts, 1916. 

6 Luke the Physician, pp. 26-120. 7 Ibid., p. 26. 


Physician and The Acts of the Apostles. It is not merely agree 
ment in words that we see, but the same syntax and style. He 
returns to the subject in The Date of the Acts and the Synoptic 
Gospels (1911), and meets the objections of Clemen and others 
to the identity of the author of the "we" sections with the 
author of the whole book. He had said that "a difference in 
the authorship of the third gospel and the Acts can be alleged 
with much more plausible reasons than a difference in the 
authorship of the Acts as a whole and the we sections." 1 
The upshot of the whole investigation is seen to be this: "In 
the we sections the author speaks his own language and 
writes in his usual style; in the rest of the work just so much 
of this style makes its appearance as was allowed by the nature 
of the sources which he used and the historical and religious 
coloring which he aimed at imparting." 2 Like a true artist 
in style Luke reflects his sources in both the Gospel and the 
Acts, but not to the obliteration of his own style and method. 

It can hardly be maintained that a compiler of the Acts care 
lessly retained the "we" and "us" like slovenly mediseval 
chroniclers. This author is no unskilled writer and knows 
how to work over his material. Overbeck 3 prefers Zeller s 
theory that the "we" is left designedly because the compiler 
wished to create the impression that he was one of Paul s com 
panions, so as to recommend his book. But Theophilus would 
not be taken in by a subterfuge like that. The only other alter 
native is the view that the writer of the Acts is himself the 
author of the "we" sections and the companion of Paul. Lin 
guistic considerations give strong support to this view. 4 Even 
in Luke s Gospel there are eighty-four words common to it 
and Paul s Epistles that are not found in the other gospels. 
In the Acts the number is much greater. 

McGiffert in his History of Christianity in the Apostolic Age 
(1897) argues with great ability for the compilation theory of 
the Acts and vigorously assails the Lukan authorship. He 
dissects the book mercilessly and regards it as a second-hand 
work. But Harnack brushed aside McGiffert s criticisms. 

1 Luke the Physician, p. 7, n. 2. 

2 Harnack, Date of Acts and Synoptic Gospels, pp. 20 f. 

3 Cf . Zeller, I, 43 (English tr.), and S. Davidson, Introduction to N. T.. 
II, 272. 

4 Hawkins, Horce Synopticce, p. 183. 


Ramsay 1 says: "Doctor McGiffert has not convinced me; in 
other words, I think his clever argumentation is sophistical." 
In spite of MeGiffert s attacks and Torrey s theory about the 
Aramaic document for the early part of Acts, the argument 
holds, as the result of this long conflict, that the same man is 
the author of both Gospel and Acts and he was a companion of 

4. This Companion of Paul a Physician. It can be stated 
in the words of Hawkins 2 that the linguistic argument for unity 
of authorship of Acts appears "irresistible." There is, then, 
"an immense balance of evidence" in favor of the view that 
the author of Acts was a companion of Paul, since he was the 
writer of the "we" sections. 3 The next step, and an inevitable 
one, is the fact that this companion of Paul, the author of Acts, 
was a physician. There is no such statement in the Gospel 
or in the Acts. But the cumulative linguistic evidence to that 
effect is compelling and quite conclusive to one who is open to 
the proof. Zahn 4 puts the matter tersely and strongly thus: 
"Hobart has proved for every one who can at all appreciate 
proof that the author of the Lukan work was a man practised 
in the scientific language of Greek medicine in short, a Greek 
physician." The detailed proof of this claim must be reserved 
for Chapter VII. But at this point it is necessary for one to 
realize the force of the argument as a whole. The credit for 
this line of argument is due to Hobart s The Medical Language 
of St. Luke (1882), in which with utmost precision and minute 
ness the medical terms in the Gospel and Acts are examined in 
comparison with the writings of the leading Greek physicians 
(Galen, Hippocrates, Dioscorides, Aretseus, and the rest). 
Like most champions of a new line of argument, Hobart has 
claimed too much. Some of the words employed by Luke and 
the other physicians belong to the common speech of the time 
and have no technical sense. But some of these common 
words do acquire a technical significance with a physician. 
Thus in Acts 28 : 6 the natives in Malta expected that Paul 
"would have swollen," we read. This word 5 appears here only 
in the New Testament and is the technical medical term for 

1 "The Authorship of the Acts," in Pauline and Other Studies, p. 305. 

2 Hawkins, Horce Synopticce, p. 185. 

3 Hawkins, Horce Synopticce, p. 189. 
Einl, II, 427. 


inflammation in Galen and Hippocrates. 1 The writer of the 
Gospel shows a clear desire to avoid a reflection on physicians 
that appears in Mark s Gospel. In Mark 5 : 26, we read that 
the woman with an issue of blood "had suffered many things 
of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was 
nothing bettered, but rather grew worse." Now Luke (8 : 43) 
describes her as one "who had spent all her living upon physi 
cians, and could not be healed of any." He took care of the 
physicians very neatly in his restatement of Mark s sly "dig" 
at the doctors. Hers was simply a chronic case that no physi 
cian could cure. 

In the Acts we note the clear implication that the writer 
practised medicine in Malta. Paul "prayed, and laying his 
hands on him healed 2 him" (28:8); we read of the cure of 
Publius, an evident miracle that Luke reports. But he pro 
ceeds (verses 9-10): "And when this was done, the rest also 
that had diseases in the island came, and were cured." 3 It is 
to be noted that Luke employs a different Greek word for 
"were cured," a word that was common for medical cases. 
The natural implication is that Luke practised medicine here 
in Malta while Paul healed by miraculous power. The medical 
missionary and the preacher were at work side by side. Luke 
may have used prayer like Paul. One hopes that he did, as 
all physicians should. But he practised his medical art by the 
side of Paul. The people of Malta honored both Luke and 
Paul. Luke was no "wild enthusiast who cured diseases" but 
a "man who continued to practise his profession of physician 
with success, and who in it had earned the permanent esteem 
of a man of such high temper as St. Paul." 4 Harnack 5 is abso 
lutely convinced by the arguments of Hobart: "The evidence 
is of overwhelming force; so that it seems to me that no doubt 
can exist that the third Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles were 
composed by a physician" (italics his). Deductions have to be 
made from Hobart s list of medical words in the Gospel and 
Acts. "But, when all deductions have been made, there re 
mains a body of evidence that the author of the Acts naturally 

1 Hobart, Medical Language of St. Luke, p. 50. 

3 lOepaxeuovTo. Ramsay (Luke the Physician, pp. 16 f .) insists that I6epa- 
ics6ovTo means ("received medical treatment" whether "cured" or not. 

4 Harnack, The Acts of the Apostks, p. xl. 
6 Luke the Physician, p. 198. 


and inevitably slipped into the use of medical phraseology, 
which seems to me irresistible." 1 Chase 2 actually complained 
that for twenty years Hobart s work "remained unnoticed by 
the assailants of the traditional view of the third Gospel and 
Acts." But this complaint can no longer be made. Clemen 3 
has endeavored to show that a physician could not have written 
the Gospel and Acts: "Truly the author of these writings em 
ploys some medical terms in their technical sense, but in a few 
cases he uses them in such a way as no physician would have 
done." But it is very hard to prove a negative. Hobart 
undoubtedly claimed too much, but Clemen has attempted the 
impossible. "One cannot know to-day what an ancient phy 
sician could not have written. Of course the absence of marked 
medical traits does not prove that a doctor did not write Luke 
and Acts." 4 Cadbury s monograph is a reasoned attempt to 
prove that "the style of Luke bears no more evidence of medi 
cal interest and training than does the language of other writers 
who were not physicians." 5 Cadbury claims that many of 
these medical terms belonged to the language of culture of the 
time and occur hi the writings of Lucian, "the travelling 
rhetorician and show lecturer," quite as much as in the Gospel 
and Acts. There is something in this point beyond a doubt, 
but Paul was just as much a man of culture as Luke. So was 
the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews. Yet these two New 
Testament writers of culture do not reveal a fondness for 
medical language. It is difficult to make comparisons because 
of difference in subject-matter and length of books. The mere 
tabulation of lists of words does not carry one very far. Cad- 
bury 6 admits that the selected lists of medical terms given by 
Harnack, Moffatt, and Zahn "have greatly strengthened the 
argument by selecting from Hobart only the most convincing 
examples." Cadbury is wholly right in insisting that these 
examples need testing. He undertakes to do it, though con 
scious of the difficulties in his way. His method is merely one 
of tabulation, which means very little. The upshot of the 
whole matter is that the impression of the most striking exam 
ples in the Gospel and Acts remains unshaken. Hobart gives 

1 Chase, The Credibility of the Acts, pp. 13 f. 2 Ibid., p. 14. 

3 Hibbert Journal, 1910, pp. 785 f . 

4 Cadbury, The Style and Literary Language of Luke, 1919, p. 51. 

p. 50. 6 IUd., p. 39, 



the full quotations from the Greek medical writers so that one 
can see the context. We have the context in the Gospel and 
the Acts. The effect of Hobart s argument remains with me 
after a careful study of Cadbury s arguments. Most impres 
sive of all is it to read Mark s reports of the miracles and then 
Luke s modifications. And then the reading of the Gospel 
and the Acts straight through leaves the same conviction that 
we are following the lead of a cultivated physician whose pro 
fessional habits of thought have colored the whole in many 
subtle ways. This positive impression refuses to be dissipated, 
though Cadbury is quite right in saying that Luke could still 
be the author even if he does not betray by his language that 
he is a physician. Further details will be given in Chapter VII. 

It ought to be added that the medical element is spread over 
the Gospel and the Acts and is another argument for the unity 
of Acts. 1 

5. This Physician and Companion of Paul Is Luke. The 
writer does not say so. In fact, the absence of any mention 
of the name Luke in the Acts is one of the things to be ex 
plained. This "is just what we should expect if he himself 
were the author of the book." So Harnack argues. 2 But it is 
a bit curious that every other important friend of Paul, judg 
ing by his Epistles, except Luke and Titus, is mentioned in the 
Acts. Aristarchus, coupled with Luke (Col. 4 : 10, 14; Phile 
mon 24), is mentioned in the Acts three times. Once (Acts 
27 : 2) Aristarchus is mentioned as present with Paul and the 
author of the book (Luke). Three reasons occur for the 
omission of Titus. One, the view of Harnack, 3 is that Titus 
is not coupled with Luke in the Epistles and hence the omis 
sion of his name in Acts is not strange. This is not quite sat 
isfactory. It is easy to see why Luke, though retaining "we" 
and "us" in his travel diary, declines to mention his own 
name. It would be known to Theophilus and thus to others. 
But why omit Titus? Lightfoot 4 denies that Titus was im 
portant enough to be mentioned in Acts, but Ramsay 8 rightly 
rejects that explanation. It has been suggested by A. Souter 
and others (cf. Origen s view of II Cor. 8 : 18) that Luke and 

1 Moffatt, Introduction to Lit. of the N. JT., p. 300. 

2 The Date of the Ats and the Synoptic Gosvels, p. 28. 

* Ibid., p. 28, n. 2. Biblical Essays, p. 281. 

6 St. Paul the Traveller, p. 390. 


Titus were brothers and that for this reason Luke does not 
call his name. It is possible to understand II Cor. 12 : 18 to 
be a reference to Titus s brother. This use of the Greek article 
is common enough. 1 " I exhorted Titus, and I sent his brother 
with him." The same translation is possible in II Cor. 8 : 18, 
"his brother." Who is this brother of Titus? One naturally 
thinks of Luke. 

Paul had other companions, but they have to be eliminated 
one by one. Some are spoken of in a way that renders it diffi 
cult to think of them as writing the Acts. This is true of 
Aquila and Priscilla, Aristarchus, Mark, Silas, Timothy, Tro- 
phimus. Selwyn 2 argues at length, but not at all convincingly, 
that Luke and Silas are one and the same man. Crescens and 
Titus Justus are rather too insignificant. There remain only 
Titus and Luke. Curiously both names are absent in the 
Acts, as already noted. "The movements of Timothy, Silas 
and the others cannot be fitted in with the hypothesis that any 
one of them was the companion at the time in question. The 
hypothesis breaks down in every case. With the exception of 
Titus, for whose authorship there is no other evidence, each 
one of them can be shown to have been elsewhere at one or 
more of the times. Luke is with me at them all." 3 No 
one seriously argues that Titus wrote the Gospel and Acts. 
Why not Luke ? Titus was not a physician. Was Luke ? 

We know that Luke was with Paul in Rome (Philemon 24, 
"Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, Luke, my fellow workers") 4 dur 
ing his first imprisonment. He is also called by Paul at this 
time "Luke the beloved physician" 6 (Col. 4: 14). Harnack 6 
argues quite plausibly that Paul means to call "Luke my 
beloved physician." At any rate it is quite possible, indeed 
probable, that Luke was Paul s physician as well as helper in 
the mission work. It is quite possible that Luke, called in as 
physician either at Antioch during Paul s stay there, or in 
Galatia during a sudden malarial attack (Gal. 4 : 13), or at 
Troas, where we first note his presence with Paul, was con 
verted by his patient to the service of Christ. He is with 

1 Robertson, Grammar, p. 770. z St. Luke the Prophet. 

3 Carpenter, The Christianity of S. Luke, p. 14. 

4 ol ouvepfoC IAOU. The "we" sections of the Acts show Luke s work 
with Paul. Cf. Acts 16 : 10. 

6 6 aTpb<; 6 ^cti^^q. 8 Luke the Physician, p. 3, n. 2. 


Paul at the last. "Only Luke is with me" (II Tim. 4 : 11). 
Luke, therefore, fulfils precisely the conditions called for by 
the evidence unless there is positive external evidence to the 

But the external evidence is unanimously in favor of Luke 
as the author of the Gospel and the Acts. "The unanimous 
tradition that St. Luke is the author of the Acts of the Apos 
tles has come to us with the book itself." * The Lukan author 
ship of both Gospel and Acts has been universally recognized 
since 140 A. D. 2 Since it is all one way it is needless to cite 
it. Specific statements of the Lukan authorship occur in 
Irenseus, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria and the Mura- 
torian Canon. 

The case seems to be made out. Certainly Kirsopp Lake 
cannot be accused of partiality for traditional views any more 
than Harnack. In the Hastings Dictionary of the Apostolic 
Church (article "Acts of the Apostles") Lake concludes: "The 
argument from literary affinities between the we-clauses and 
the rest of Acts remains at present unshaken; and, until some 
further analysis succeeds in showing why it should be thought 
that the we-clauses have been taken from a source not written 
by the redactor himself, the traditional view that Luke, the 
companion of St. Paul, was the editor of the whole book is the 
most reasonable one." That is cautious enough to suit any 
timid soul and seems to express the rather reluctant admission 
of Lake that is forced by the overwhelming evidence. Har 
nack 3 pays his respects to the "attitude of general mistrust 
in the book, with airy conceits and lofty contempt; most of 
all, however, with the fruits of that vicious method wherein 
great masses of theory are hung upon the spider s thread of a 
single observation." Moffatt 4 concludes that the Lukan 
authorship of the Gospel and the Acts "has now been put 
practically beyond doubt by the exhaustive researches of Haw 
kins and Harnack." As for myself, I am bound to agree to 
this judgment of M. Jones: 5 "This author of Acts and the 

1 Harnack, Date of the Acts and the Synoptic Gospels, p. 28. 

* Harnack, Luke the Physician, p. 2. 

* The Acts of the Apostles, p. xlii. 

4 Introduction to the Literature of the New Testament, p. 295. See also 
Burkitt, Gospel History and Its Transmission, pp. 115 f. 
6 New Testament in Twentieth Century, p. 231. 


third gospel is to be identified with St. Luke the companion, 
friend, and physician of St. Paul." In the light of all the facts 
known to-day, after a generation and more of the most exact 
ing criticism and research, the theory of the Lukan author 
ship holds the field, greatly strengthened by the new light that 
has come. Scholarship can point with pride to what has been 
done in this field of Biblical investigation. The picture of 
Luke now stands before us in sharp outline. 


"Only Luke is with me" (II Tim. 4 : 11) 

If Luke, the physician and friend of Paul, really wrote the 
Gospel and Acts, as is now proven as clearly as a literary fact 
can be shown, one naturally has a keen desire to know some 
thing about him. He was evidently a modest man and kept 
himself in the background in both Gospel and Acts, save in 
the incidental allusions in the "we" sections of Acts. Indeed, 
the anonymous author of Supernatural Religion seeks to 
obscure the items that are given and to befog the picture of 
Luke that has survived. "Let it be remembered that with 
the exception of the three passages in the Pauline Epistles 
quoted above, we know absolutely nothing about Luke." 1 
The writer then proceeds to throw doubt on the identity of the 
Luke in Col. 4 : 14 and Philemon 24 and II Tun. 4:11. He 
speaks of "this literary labyrinth" (p. 41) of the "we" pas 
sages in Acts and throws Luke into the waste-basket. But 
modern scholarship, thanks to Lightfoot, Hawkins, Hobart, 
Ramsay, Harnack and others, has thrown aside the three able 
volumes on Supernatural Religion that were expected to destroy 
the New Testament. Let us piece together the known facts 
concerning Luke. 

1. The Name Luke. It is now known for a certainty that 
Loukas 2 is an abbreviation or pet-name (Kosennamen) for 
Loukios. 3 There used to be a deal of speculation on the sub 
ject. Lucanus, Lucilius, Lucianus, Lucius were all suggested. 
Lucanus is common in inscriptions. 4 Several Old-Latin manu 
scripts of the fifth century read secundum Lukanum instead of 
the usual secundum Lucam, probably "due to learned specula-r 
tion and discussion about the origin of the form" 5 Loukas. 

1 Supernatural Religion, vol. Ill, p. 39. 

2 Aouxdtq. 8 Ao&xto?. 
4 Plummer, Comm. on Luke, p. xviii. 

6 Ramsay, Bearing of Recent Discovery, p. 371. 



"We have to ask whether or not the Greek name LouMos, 
borrowed from the Latin Lucius, could according to Greek 
custom have as a familiar by-form the Kosennamen Loukas." 1 
It is purely a matter of evidence. The proof has been found. 
On the walls of the peribolos which surrounded the sanctuary 
of the god Men Askaenos in Antioch are written a number of 
dedicatory vows to the god. Some of them are in Latin, but 
most of them "are the work of Greek-speaking people, who 
bore Roman names." 2 One of these dedications in Greek is 
by Loukas Tillios Kriton and Noumeria Venusta (evidently 
his wife). Both names are Roman, and Loukas appears as 
Greek for the Latin Lucius. In another instance the same 
man makes two dedications. In one instance the name of his 
son occurs as Loukios, in the other as Loukas. 3 There is no 
longer room for dispute on this point. The vernacular Koine 
did employ Loukas as a pet-name (cf . Charlie and Charles) for 
the Latin Lucius (Greek Loukios). We find this in Antioch. 
It may have been true anywhere. In Acts 13 : 1 we read of 
"Loukios the Cyrenian," but it is quite unlikely that he is the 
same person as our Luke, the author of the book, though it is 
the same name, as has just been shown. If Luke is the author 
of the Acts, he would hardly refer to himself as "Loukios the 
Cyrenian." The use of abbreviated names is common in the 
New Testament (cf. Silas and Silvanus, Prisca and Priscilla, 
Apollos and Apollonius) as in the papyri and inscriptions. 4 
Plummer 5 terms it "a caricature of critical ingenuity" to make 
Lucanus = Silvanus because lucus = silva. Selwyn in his St. 
Luke the Prophet argues for this identification in most incon 
clusive fashion. A name may count for nothing, it is true, and 
then again a name may stand for much. "The name of a con 
temporary and eye-witness guarantees the truth of a probable 
story, provided there is no other reason for raising objections." 6 

1 Ibid. 

2 Ibid. See article in Journal of Hellenic Studies, 1912, pp. 144 ff., by 
Mrs. Hasluck, where the evidence is given in full. 

3 Ramsay, Bearing of Recent Discovery, pp. 376-380. 

4 Robertson, Grammar, pp. 171-3. 

6 Comm. on Luke, p. xviii. Moulton (Grammar of N. T. Greek, vol. II, 
part I, p. 88) quotes Aetixco? for Latin Lucius in P. Tebt., I, 33, 3 (B. C. 112). 
Nachmanson (Beitrdge zur Kenntnis der altgriechischen Volkssprache, p. 61) 
notes other instances and considers it a different name from 

6 Harnack, Luke the Physician, p. 146. 


Fortunately Luke is no longer an obscure name and we can 
"picture to ourselves the personality which stands behind the 
name Luke." 1 

2. A Gentile, Probably a Greek In Col. 4 : 12-14 Paul sep 
arates Epaphras, Luke and Demas from Aristarchus, Mark 
and Jesus Justus, "who are of the circumcision" (4:10f.). 
Paul here seems to imply that Luke was not a Jew. This is 
the view of commentators generally, though Hofmann, Tiele 
and Wittichen argue that Paul s language does not necessarily 
mean this. It is possible that Luke could have been a proselyte 
(a tradition mentioned by Jerome), but there is no hint of such 
a thing in Acts or the Epistles. In Philemon 23 f ., Paul draws 
no such line of cleavage between those who send greetings. 
In Romans 16 : 21 Paul calls "Loukios and Jason and Sosipater, 
my kinsmen." As in Acts 13 : 1, so here the name Loukios, 
as we have seen, could be the formal spelling of the familiar 
Loukas. But this kinsman 2 of Paul was a Jew and is ruled out 
by the distinction drawn in Col. 4 : 10-14. The knowledge of 
Aramaic shown by Luke s use of Aramaic sources in Luke 1 
and 2 and in Acts 1-15 does not show that he was a Jew. In 
deed, Torrey 3 argues that Luke did not always understand his 
Aramaic document, if he had one. Per contra, the classic intro 
duction to the Gospel (1 : 1-4) seems quite impossible for a 
Jew to have written, even if he were a man of culture. It ranks 
with the introductions of Herodotus and Thucydides for brev 
ity, modesty and dignity. It is couched in purest literary 
Koine. Other things in his writings confirm the view that he 
was originally a heathen and not a Jew. He has the wide 
sympathy of a Gentile of culture and approaches Christianity 
from the outside. If he is a Gentile, as seems most probable, 
he is the only writer of the New Testament (or the Old) of 
whom this is true. 

It is probable also that Luke was a Greek rather than a 
Roman, since in Acts 28 : 2, 4 he speaks of the inhabitants of 
Malta as "the barbarians," quite in the Greek fashion. The 

1 Harnack, ibid., p. 146. 

2 Ramsay suggests that these six kinsmen of Paul in Romans. 16 : 7-21 are 
fellow tribesmen and fellow citizens of Tarsus. Cf . The Cities of St. Paul, 
p. 177. 

8 The Composition and Date of the Acts. Kirsopp Lake ("Luke," Has- 
tings s Diet, of the Apostolic Church) holds that the facts about Luke can be 
met on the hypothesis that he was a Hellenistic Jew. But not so easily. 


Greek antithesis was "Greeks and barbarians," as Paul used 
it in Romans 1 : 14. But Miss Stawell in a paper on " St. Luke 
and Virgil" at the International Medical Congress in Oxford 
in 1913 argued that Luke was a Roman and not a Greek. She 
argues that some of the greatest medical authorities of the 
day were Romans, like Celsus (about 50 A. D.), who were 
familiar with the Greek medical writers, as was Luke. She 
pleads that Luke lived in Philippi, a Roman colony, and had a 
fondness for Rome, as the close of the Acts shows. She argues, 
also, that Luke is a Latin name, " a surname in the gens Anncea 
to which Seneca, Gallio, and Lucan all belonged." l His ap 
parent liberty in Rome while Paul was a prisoner may be due 
to his being a cadet of that house. She draws a parallel be 
tween the ^Eneid and the Acts. Jones agrees that the sugges 
tion is "both instructive and picturesque" (p. 235). Ramsay 2 
allows as one of the possibilities about the name Luke that 
"the evangelist might have been a Hellene bearing the simple 
name Loukios." In that case he was not a slave and not a 
Roman citizen, not a Roman at all, but "an ordinary free 
Hellene." His full name thus was Loukios, without nomen or 
cognomen. He says that the other alternative is that "Lucius 
may have been his prcenomen as a Roman citizen; and in that 
case it would follow almost certainly that the physician Lou 
kios was a freedman, who acquired the full Roman name when 
he was set free." But in neither case would Luke be a Latin 
by birth. We seem, therefore, shut up to the idea that Luke 
was a native Greek, not Latin. Whether he acquired Roman 
citizenship is uncertain, though possible. The use of Roman 
names was very common and does not of itself prove that 
Luke was not Greek. 

3. Possibly a Freedman. It has already been suggested by 
Ramsay that "physicians were often freedmen; and freedmen 
were frequently addressed by their prcenomen, which marked 
their rank." 3 And Loukios (Latin Lucius) could be the prceno- 
men of our Luke (Loukas) as a Roman citizen. Ramsay adds 
that "the custom of society would make it probable that this 
physician, who led for many years the life of a companion of 
Paul, was not born a Roman citizen (as perhaps Silvanus 

1 M. Jones, N. T. in Twentieth Century, p. 233. 

2 Bearing of Recent Discovery, p. 382. 

3 Bearing of Recent Discovery, p. 382, 


was)." 1 Ramsay notes, however, that "a libertus usually 
remained in close relation to his former master, who continued 
to be his patronus" 2 But there were exceptions. There seems 
no way to reach a positive conclusion on this point. Paul had 
a Roman name (besides the Hebrew name of Saul) and also 
Roman citizenship. Paul was not a freedman, but free born 
(Acts 22 : 28). Luke s ready pen, his versatility and his inter 
est in the sea are Greek traits, 3 whether Luke was a free 
Hellene or a Greek slave set free with Roman citizenship and a 
Roman name. 

Ramsay declines to express an opinion as to whether Luke 
was a freedman. Dean Plumptre 4 has made the interesting 
suggestion that the Roman poet Lucanus, born A. D. 39 in 
Corduba, Spain, was named after the physician Luke. It 
was a common practice for children to be named after a be 
loved physician. Hayes 5 is quite taken with the idea. He 
thinks that Luke "was born a slave in the household of The- 
ophilus, a wealthy government official in Antioch." 6 If so, 
Theophilus set him free, after educating him as a physician. 
Luke then won Theophilus to Christ and Theophilus continued 
Luke s patron. Gallio and Seneca were uncles of the poet 
Lucanus. If Luke told Lucanus about Paul, it is easy to think 
that he may have told Gallio and Seneca about the Apostle. 
Thus the kindness of Gallio to Paul in Corinth is explained, 
and the traditional friendship between Paul and Seneca has 
some possible foundation. 7 It is a pleasing fancy, but that is 
all one can say. 

4. Probably the Brother of Titus. There are other conjec 
tures about Luke that may be dismissed at this point. If he 
was either a Greek or a Roman, free or freedman, he was not 
one of the Seventy (Epiphanius) or the unnamed disciple with 
Cleophas (Luke 24 : 13) according to "Theophylact s attrac 
tive guess, which still finds advocates." 8 Not being a Jew, he 
is ruled out ipso facto. That is not true of the conjecture that 

i/Wa. 2/Wd.,p. 383. 

3 Rackham, Comm. on Acts, p. xxviii. 

4 Books of the Bible, N. T., pp. 74 f . 

6 The Synoptic Gospels and the Acts, pp. 179 f ., 197 f . 

6 Ibid., p. 197. 

7 Cf . Lightfoot s Essay on St. Paul, and Seneca, Comm. on Philippians, 
pp. 207-333. 

8 Plummer, Comm., p. xix. 


he was one of the Greeks who came to Philip (John 12 : 20). 
It is possible in itself, but there is no proof for it and it seems 
to be ruled out by the implication in Luke 1 : 1-4 that the 
author is not one of the eye-witnesses. But it is possible that 
Origen and Chrysostom are correct in thinking that Luke was 
" the brother whose praise in the gospel was spread through all 
the churches" and who was the companion of Titus (II Cor. 
8 : 18; 12 : 18). 1 This can be true even if he is not the brother 
of Titus, as is probable. If he is the brother of Titus, as the 
Greek idiom naturally implies, then Luke is a Greek, not a 
Roman by birth; for Titus is a Greek (Gal. 2 : 3). And if a 
Greek, he is possibly, though not necessarily, a freedman. 
Thus far we seem to be quite within the range of probability. 
It may be added that in some manuscripts (of II Cor.) Luke 
is mentioned in the subscription as one of the bearers of the 
Epistle along with Titus. 

5. Luke s Birthplace. This matter is still in dispute. There 
is something to be said for Antioch in Syria, for Philippi and 
for Antioch in Pisidia. "The Clementines tell us that The- 
ophilus was a wealthy citizen of Antioch." 2 If Luke had been 
the slave of Theophilus and was now a freedman, this would 
indicate that he was born in Antioch, though the argument is 
wholly hypothetical. But there are other considerations. 
The Codex Bezse 3 after Acts 11 : 27 has the following peculiar 
reading: "And there was great rejoicing; and when we were 
gathered together one of them stood up and said." This may 
be a mere Western addition, but it represents an early tradi 
tion that Luke was associated with Antioch during the stay of 
Barnabas and Saul there. Blass 4 is confident that it is the 
insertion of Luke himself in the revision: "Now this we, which 
is also attested by St. Augustine, clearly shows that the author 
was at that time a member of the church at Antioch, which is 
the tradition given by Eusebius (Hist. Eccl. 3 : 4, 7) and 
others." Eusebius speaks of "Luke being by birth of those 
from Antioch." 5 This certainly means that Luke s family 

1 See5. in Chapter I. 

2 Hayes, Synoptic Gospels and Acts, p. 194. 

3 This remarkable reading in the B text is ^v S& icoXX-?) 

4 Philology of the Gospels, p. 131 . Cf . also Blass, Ada Apostolorum, p. 137 ; 

Lucuntissimwn testimonium, quo auctor sese Antiochenum fitisse monstrat" 

8 Aouxdc<; tb (Uv y^vot; <Sv -cwv dcrc 


came from Antioch, but it hardly "amounts to an assertion 
that Luke was not an Antiochian," as Ramsay 1 argues. The 
expression of Eusebius is "awkward," but not "obviously 
chosen in order to avoid the statement that Luke was an 
Antiochian." 2 In fact, Jerome 3 plainly speaks of "Luke the 
physician of Antioch." Likewise Euthalius 4 describes Luke as 
"being by birth an Antiochian." Once more the Prcefatio 
Lucce (placed in third century by Harnack) speaks of "Luke, 
by nation a Syrian of Antioch." Plummer 5 concludes that 
"this is probable in itself and is confirmed by the Acts. Of 
only one of the deacons are we told to which locality he be 
longed, * Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch (6:5): and we see 
elsewhere that the writer was well acquainted with Antioch 
and took an interest in it (11 : 19-27; 13 : 1; 14 : 19, 21, 26; 
15 : 22, 23, 30, 35; 18 : 22)." Antioch in Acts is the new cen 
tre of Christian activity. It cannot be said that this evidence 
is absolutely convincing, but it renders it probable that Luke 
was born and reared in Antioch in Syria, though he spent his 
later years elsewhere, as in Philippi, Csesarea, Rome. 

But Ramsay, like Renan, argues for Philippi as the place 
of Luke s nativity. He suggests that, since Antioch was a 
Seleucid foundation, there was a Macedonian element in the 
population. "Thus it may very well have happened that 
Luke was a relative of one of the early Antiochian Christians; 
and this relationship was perhaps the authority for Eusebius s 
carefully guarded statement." Ramsay 6 even suggests that 
"perhaps Titus was the relative of Luke; and Eusebius found 
this statement in an old tradition attached to II Cor. 8 : 18, 
12 : 18, where Titus and Luke (the latter not named by Paul, 
but identified by an early tradition) are associated as envoys 
to Corinth." But in II Cor. 12 : 18 "the brother" can nat 
urally mean "his brother," but not "his relative," though it 
can mean "cousin," as Ramsay 7 notes. If Titus and Luke 
were brothers, they were naturally born in the same city. 
Ramsay admits that " there is not sufficient evidence to justify 

1 St. Paul the Traveller, p. 389. 2 Ramsay, ibid. 

3 De Vir. III., vii. Lucas Medicus Antiochensis. 

4 Migne, Pair. Gk., vol. LXXXV, p. 633. Avrtoxed? Y*P OCJTO? &x<*pxo>v -cb 

6 Comm. on Luke, p. xxi. 8 St. Paul the Traveller, p. 390. 

7 Luke the Physician, p. 18, n. 1. 


an opinion." He exaggerates the difficulty about Eusebius 
and increases the problem in II Cor. 12 : 18. Ramsay urges, 
also, the civic pride shown by Luke in pointing out that Philippi 
is the first city of that division of Macedonia. But his long 
residence in Philippi would amply explain such pride. Ram 
say also argues that in Acts 16 : 9-10 "the man from Mace 
donia" is Luke who had been speaking with Paul about Mace 
donia the day before the vision. This is plausible and quite 
possible, though Luke, if now a resident of Philippi, may have 
gone there from Antioch, either before his conversion or after 
ward. There is nothing in Acts 16 : 9-10 to indicate that Luke 
and Paul have met for the first time. Rackham 1 holds that " it 
is extremely unlikely that S. Luke met S. Paul for the first 
time at Troas," though Ramsay 2 argues this view. Carpenter 3 
thinks that "the two views may be combined by supposing 
that he was an Antiochian who was in medical practice at 

Rackham 4 urges Antioch in Pisidia as the place of Luke s 
birth. He accepts the South Galatian theory that Paul wrote 
to the churches founded in the first mission tour. He holds 
that Luke met Paul first at Antioch in Pisidia, where he 
preached "because of an infirmity of the flesh" (Gal. 4 : 13), 
when Luke was called in as physician. He suggests that Luke 
descended from an old Philippian family that had settled here. 
His theory is that Luke went to Antioch in Syria when Paul 
came to the help of Barnabas, having been converted at Tar 
sus by Paul before going to Antioch. It can only be said that 
this view is possible, though nothing like so plausible as the 
tradition that Luke is a native of Antioch in Syria. The ques 
tion cannot be settled yet. Some day we may know. 

6. Luke s Education. It is plain enough that the man who 
wrote the Gospel and the Acts was a man of genuine culture. 
As a physician he "belonged to the middle or higher plane of 
contemporary culture. To this plane we are directed not only 
by the prologue of the Gospel, but by the literary standard 
attained in the whole work." 5 "This man possessed the higher 
culture in rich measure," 6 as his use of his materials in the 

1 Comm. on Acts, p. xxx. 2 St. Paul the Traveller, p. 201. 

3 The Christianity According to S. Luke, p. 20. 

4 So Kendall on the basis of if)^? in Acts 14 : 23. 

6 Harnack, Luke the Physician, p. 13. 8 Ibid. 


Gospel and the Acts proves. "He had at his command an 
average education, and possessed a more than ordinary lit 
erary talent." 1 If a freedman of Theophilus at Antioch, he 
would receive a good education in the schools there. As a 
physician, he would be sent by Theophilus either to Alexandria, 
Athens or Tarsus, the great universities of the time. Alex 
andria seems unlikely in the absence of any allusion to the 
city. 2 We know that Luke seems familiar with Athens 
(Acts 17), but Tarsus is much more likely. Hayes 3 considers 
it almost certain that Luke was sent to Tarsus and at the same 
time with Paul and Barnabas, while Apollos was in the Alex 
andrian university. If Apollos wrote Hebrews, it is easy to 
see what a great part was played in early Christianity by these 
college or university men who became fast friends. In Tarsus 
Luke would receive a good classical education, and would study 
medicine " where the great masters in that profession, Aretseus, 
Dioscorides and Athenaeus, had been educated. Just a few 
miles away, at ^Egse, stood the great Temple of ^Esculapius, 
which furnished the nearest approach to the modern hospital 
to be found in the ancient world. From the university lec 
tures Luke got the theory of medicine; in the Temple of Mscu- 
lapius he got the practice and experience needed." Thus 
Hayes 4 indulges his fancy in reproducing the probable educa 
tional environment of Luke. Plummer agrees that it is more 
than probable that Luke studied in " Tarsus, where there was 
a school of philosophy and literature rivalling those of Alex 
andria and Athens/ for "nowhere else in Asia Minor could he 
obtain so good an education." 5 

And yet Ramsay 6 quotes Strabo as saying that no students 
ever came from outside Tarsus to the university, in this 
respect falling behind Athens and Alexandria and other schools 
that drew students to their halls. So one has to pause before 
concluding that Luke went to Tarsus. Of course Strabo may 
mean that not many outsiders came. The city of Tarsus was 
dominated by the university of which they were proud. It 

1 Ibid., p. 147. 2 Rackham, Comm. on Acts, p. xxviii. 

3 Synoptic Gospels and Acts, p. 197. 

4 Synoptic Gospels and Acts, p. 197. 

B Comm. on Luke, p. xxi. Cf . Strabo, XIV, 5, 13, ?iXo<jo?(av xal T^V fiXXijv 
icoeiSefav lyxfixXiov Sxaaav. 
6 "The Cities of St. Paul" (The University of Tarsus, p. 232). 


was a great university in the eagerness of the students for 
knowledge, and in the great ability and experience of some of 
the teachers and in the Hellenic freedom for teacher and pupil. 1 
Strabo "praises highly the zeal for philosophy and the whole 
range of education which characterized the people of Tarsus 
in his time. In this respect they surpassed Athens and Alex 
andria and every other seat of learning." 2 Their students went 
to other great universities for further study, but were rich in the 
heritage of Athenodorus, the Stoic philosopher, who spent his 
closing years in the University of Tarsus. Seneca, in Rome, 
quotes Athenodorus, and Paul must have felt the influence of 
this "greatest of pagan Tarsians." Ramsay 3 suggests that 
Athenodorus s influence on both Seneca and Paul is the prob 
able explanation of the likeness in their phraseology. Athen 
odorus "was long worshipped as a hero by his country," and 
he influenced the university life long after his death. If Luke 
went to Tarsus, he entered into an atmosphere of great tradi 
tions, young as the school was in comparison with some others. 
Of one thing we may be sure. Luke received a liberal educa 
tion at one or more of the great technical schools of the time 
and probably at Tarsus. 

7. Luke s Conversion. Here we are wholly in the field of 
speculation. It seems clear that Luke was not a follower of 
Jesus in the flesh. The Muratorian Canon says: "But neither 
did he see the Lord in the flesh." It also states that Luke 
became a follower of Paul after the Ascension of Christ. Jerome 
mentions a tradition that Luke became a proselyte to Judaism 
before he became a Christian, but it is unsupported. The 
Western reading (Codex Bezae) of Acts 11 :28 (the "we" sec 
tion at Antioch) "would require that his conversion to Chris 
tianity take place before St. Paul met him." 4 This might have 
been under the influence of the "men of Cyprus and Cyrene, 
fleeing from Jerusalem; and Luke was among the first to hear 
it and to accept it. He told his master, Theophilus, about it, 
and Theophilus himself became interested and at last con 
verted. Then about the first thing that Theophilus did as a 
Christian was to give Luke his freedom." 5 This is possible 

1 lUd., p. 233. * Ibid., p. 232. 3 Ibid., p. 223. 

4 Bebb, " Luke the Evangelist," Hastings s D. B. 
6 Hayes, Synoptic Gospels and Acts, p. 197. 


and plausible. The Prcefatio Litcoe 1 speaks of Luke as "a dis 
ciple of the apostle, and afterward a follower of St. Paul." 
This could mean that Luke was a convert before he met Paul, 
but that does not necessarily follow. Tertullian, 2 however, 
speaks of Paul as Luke s magister and illuminator. Plummer 3 
thinks that by these words "Tertullian perhaps means us to 
understand that Luke was converted to the Gospel by Paul, 
and this is in itself probable enough." If so, then Luke may 
have been already converted when Paul came to Antioch at 
the call of Barnabas. Rackham 4 argues that, as the Bezan 
text for Acts 11 : 28 shows that Luke was in Antioch at this 
time, it is probable that Luke had already been won to Christ. 
" We can suppose that after much travel in the study and prac 
tice of medicine he paid a visit to Tarsus and its famous uni 
versity. There he met and was converted by S. Paul; and 
when Barnabas came from Antioch and took back Saul with 
him about the year 42 (11 : 25-26), S. Luke accompanied them." 
Once more, one can only say that it is possible. If the Bezan 
text for Acts 11 : 28 does record a fact, then Barnabas, Paul 
and Luke are together in Antioch as early as A. D. 42. Once 
more, if they were college mates at Tarsus, one can understand 
afresh the new tie that now knit them together. "In all prob 
ability it had begun at a most impressionable age in college 
life." 5 Luke met other men of prominence in Christian work, 
we know; Silas, Timothy, James, Mark, Aristarchus and 

Harnack 6 sees no light on this phase of the subject: "We 
have no knowledge where and by whose influence he became a 
Christian, nor whether he had previously come into sympa 
thetic touch with the Judaism of the Dispersion; only one 
thing is certain that he had never been in Palestine." 

Furneaux 7 thinks that the likelihood that Luke and Paul 
had been fellow students at Tarsus explains "the absence of 
any record of their first meeting. It is further possible that 
they had worked together at Antioch; or that Paul, when 
stricken down by illness in Galatia, had sent for the beloved 

1 Discipulus apostolorum, posted Paulum secutus. 

2 Adv. Marcion, IV, 2. 8 Comm. on Luke, p. xx. 
4 Comm. on Acts, p. xxxi. 

6 Luckock, The Special Characteristics of the Four Gospels, p. 119. 
6 Luke the Physician, p. 146. Comm. on Acts, p. 258. 


physician/ The us of verse 10 shows that he was not a new 
convert." It would be pleasing to think that Luke was won 
to Christ when called in by Paul as his physician. This, to be 
sure, could be true, whether at Antioch, in Galatia (4 : 13) or 
at Troas. If Luke saved Paul s life in the frequent attacks of 
malaria, Paul in turn saved his soul by leading him to Christ. 

Ramsay 1 is positive that, though Luke was probably already 
a Christian, he and Paul met for the first time at Troas. " Luke 
became known to Paul for the first time here." Ramsay sug 
gests that Luke was a resident of Troas at this time and that 
Paul called him in as a physician for one of his malarial attacks. 
What is certain is that at this point Luke injects himself pur 
posely into the narrative, probably by using his own travel 
diary. It may well be that Luke had been to Macedonia and 
spoke to Paul about the need there. But that is not certain. 
Least certain of all is Ramsay s insistence that Luke and Paul 
had never met before the incident at Troas. If they had never 
met before, it might be that here Paul won Luke to Christ but 
for the implication in the context that Luke is already a Chris 
tian. Knowling considers it probable that Luke and Paul were 
friends before. Whether Luke was Paul s trophy for Christ 
or not, he is now ready to follow Paul in the service of Christ. 

8. The Medical Missionary. It seems plain that in the 
passage before us the succeeding words in verse 10 lead to the 
natural inference that Luke, too, was a preacher of the Gospel, 
and had already done the work of an evangelist. " We sought 
to go forth into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us 
to preach the Gospel unto them." This call to preach in Mac 
edonia was answered by Luke as well as by Paul, Silas and 
Timothy. At the place of prayer by the riverside near Philippi 
" we sat down and spake to the women that were come together " 
(Acts 16 : 13). The poor girl with the spirit of soothsaying 
said: "These men are servants of the Most High God, who 
proclaim unto you the way of salvation" (Acts 16 : 17). Luke 
was left in charge at Philippi, when Paul and Silas departed, 
and he apparently remained there over six years till Paul comes 
back from Corinth on the third tour on his way to Jerusalem 
(Acts 20 : 5). Thence he is with Paul to the close of Acts. So 
he is Luke the Evangelist because he preached as well as be 
cause he wrote the Third Gospel. He had probably travelled 
1 St. Paul the Traveller, pp. 200-5. 


a good deal for the study and practice of his medical profession. 
Now he kept up his work as a physician and added that of a 
preacher of the Gospel. Like the Great Physician, he went 
about doing good to the souls and the bodies of men. The 
Romans did not rank the physician high, but the Greeks placed 
him on a par with the philosopher. 1 Certain it is that "his 
medical skill would be of use in gaining an opening for preach 
ing the Gospel, as modern missionaries often find." 2 We have 
already seen that in Acts 28 : 9-10 Luke seems to mean that 
he practised his profession as physician during the three months 
in Malta. It is also plain that "his history owes much to the 
fact that he joined Paul at the critical moment when a special 
revelation led him to Europe." 3 Various traditions report 
Luke as preaching in Dalmatia, Gallia, Italy, Achaia, Mace 
donia, Africa, Bithynia. They are all of no value save that 
they testify to his work as a preacher of Christ. One report is 
that he became the second bishop of Alexandria. His presence 
with Paul we do know. In Philemon 24 Paul calls him a " fel 
low worker/ but not a fellow prisoner, with him in Rome. At 
the same time (Col. 4 : 14) he alludes to him as "the beloved 
physician." In Rome he was both preacher and physician. He 
was Paul s friend and companion and trusted physician. It is 
evident that Paul had frail health for many years. We prob 
ably owe Paul s living to old age, under God, to the skill of 
Luke, his physician, who watched over him with tender solici 
tude. Luke is probably one of "the messengers (apostles; lit 
erally, missionaries) of the churches, the glory of Christ" 
(II Cor. 8: 23). If so, he is one of the agents in the great collec 
tion for the poor saints in Jerusalem, and Paul demands that 
the Corinthians show unto them in the face of the churches 
the proof of their love (8 : 25). "He was beloved for his med 
ical skill and for his ever-aggressive and ever-attractive Chris 
tianity. He might well be a model for all in the medical pro 
fession." 4 He was "a doctor of the old school," the first 
scientific physician who laid his skill at the feet of Jesus. 
Thousands have followed in his steps and, like Luke, have 

1 Rackham, Comm., p. xxviii. * Furneaux, Comm., p. 259. 

3 Ibid. Canon G. W. Whitaker ("Barnabas, Luke and Bithynia," The 
Expositor, December, 1919) seeks to connect Luke with Bithynia. The 
Prcefatio vel argumentum Luccc does say that Luke dbiit in Bithynia. 

4 Hayes, Synoptic Gospels and Acts, p. 188. 


taken Christ with them into the sick-room. Doctor W. T. 
Grenfell, the "Labrador doctor" and missionary, is a modern 
example of what Luke was in the first century. 

9. Loyal to the Last. We have Paul s own words to prove 
that Luke was true when others fled from Paul as if he had the 
pestilence. That is, if we credit II Tim. to Paul, as I do. 
Paul is now in the second and last Roman imprisonment. He 
is facing certain death and he knows it. Nero is persecuting 
followers of Jesus for the crime of Christianity. Since the 
burning of Rome in A. D. 64 the whole atmosphere has changed. 
Before then Paul was allowed his own hired house and much 
liberty (under guard), and his friends came and went at will. 
Finally Paul was set free, as the case against him fell through. 
But now the air is black with death. Many Christians have 
already forfeited their lives for the faith. Paul is the next 
victim. Now Paul s old friends in Asia, when they come to 
Rome, avoid his dungeon for fear of death. Onesiphorus dared 
all and apparently lost his life (II Tim. 1 : 15-17). A faithful 
band in Rome are firm (4 : 21), but most of Paul s companions 
have left him Demas, Crescens, Titus; probably for good rea 
sons, but they are gone. "Only Luke is with me." Luke 
alone stood fast. Paul longs for Timothy and for Mark, even 
Mark. Let us hope that they came before Paul was executed, 
and were able to go with Paul and Luke to the execution. Luke, 
doubtless, saw to the burial of the body of his great friend. 

And then what? Who knows? Gregory Nazianzen ranks 
Luke with Stephen, James and Peter as a martyr under Domi- 
tian after a long and useful career after Paul s death. Another 
story is that he died a natural death in Achaia or Bithynia. 
He was loyal to Paul. He was loyal to Christ both as preacher 
and physician. Irenseus speaks of Luke as inseparabilis a 
Paulo. Jiingst actually denies any trace of Pauline influence 
in the Gospel and the Acts. That would be amazing and is 
not true. However, Luke does not copy Paul. He interprets 
Paul and Peter as he interpreted Christ out of fulness of knowl 
edge and with largeness of view. Examination of the Lukan 
books shows no undue Pauline influence. Indeed, the portrait 
of Christ in the Gospel is distinctly drawn from pre-Pauline 
sources. The picture of Paul in the Acts is not taken from the 
Pauline Epistles. And yet Luke s very soul was knit to Paul s 
in loving affection. Paul was one of his heroes to the last. 



"And he abode two whole years in his own hired dwelling, and 
received all that went in unto him, preaching the kingdom of 
God, and teaching the things concerning the Lord Jesus Christ 
with all boldness, none forbidding him" (Acts 28 : 30-31). 

1. The Atmosphere of the First Century. It may now be 
stated definitely that the second-century date for the Gospel 
and Acts has been abandoned save by a small number of ex 
ceedingly radical critics. The general acceptance of the Lukan 
authorship of the two books disposes of the Baur theory that 
it was a religious romance written for the purpose of reconciling 
the opposition between Peter and Paul. The notion that 
Luke s Gospel made use of that of Marcion has been given up. 
It is now known that Marcion used a mutilated edition of 
Luke s Gospel. Blass 1 holds that Marcion had the Western 
text of Luke s Gospel. The arguments for the second century 
(105-130) are given at length by Schmiedel (Enc. Biblica) and 
by Holtzmann. 2 It is argued that the author made use of 
Paul s Epistles, of Josephus, that he imitated Plutarch s 
Lives in his picture of Peter and Paul, that he reflects the 
atmosphere of second-century ecclesiasticism and takes inter 
est in the political side of the Roman Empire. It must be con 
fessed that these are not very weighty or very serious argu 
ments. It is by no means certain that he used Paul s Epistles, 
but what if he did? Certainly the political outlook of the 
Acts is precisely that of Paul s Epistles (Headlam, Hastings s 
D. B., art. "Acts"), but surely that argues for the early date. 
As to Josephus, that is more important and will call for dis 
cussion a bit later. But that can be true and the author still 
be Luke. The possible use of Josephus bears on the date of 
the Acts, not on the Lukan authorship. "In this event he 
must have been about seventy when he wrote Acts, which is 

^Philology of the Gospels, pp. 145 f. z EinL,* 1892, p. 405. 



by no means impossible or even improbable." 1 Ramsay 2 
pointedly says: "We must face the facts boldly. If Luke 
wrote Acts his narrative must agree in a striking and convinc 
ing way with Paul s: they must confirm, explain and complete 
one another." The writings of both stand that test. The 
genuineness of nearly all of the Pauline Epistles is now admitted 
by the mass of modern scholars. The Lukan authorship of the 
Gospel and the Acts now carries the weight of modern opinion. 
Ramsay s researches show in innumerable ways how Luke s 
knowledge of first-century details can only be explained on the 
view that he was a contemporary of these events. The fre 
quent changes in the Roman provinces (from imperial to sen 
atorial, and vice versa) make pitfalls for the unwary. Luke 
steps with sure tread because he was on the ground and knew 
the facts. He has been triumphantly vindicated, as will be 
shown in future chapters. 

2. The Date of the Acts. The book was written after the 
Gospel (Acts 1:1) and before Luke s death. Lightfoot de 
clined to discuss the date of the Acts in his article on the 
Acts. 3 Plummer 4 states that Lightfoot regarded the question 
of the date of Acts as dependent on the date of Luke. So it is 
in so far as determining the date before which the Acts can 
be located. But it is equally true that the date of the Acts 
determines the time beyond which the Gospel cannot go. 
Lake 5 puts the case fairly: "The evidence for the date is very 
meagre. If the Lucan authorship be accepted, any date 
before the last events chronicled, i. e., a short time before 
A. D. 100, is possible." Both books must come within the 
lifetime of Luke. There is no way to tell how much time 
elapsed between the two books. Probably it was not long. 
On the whole, it is simplest to take up the Acts first. There 
are three dates that are at present argued for both the Gospel 
and the Acts as they hang together. But we shall confine the 
argument here to the Acts. 

(a) A. D. 94 to 100. Those who hold to this date for Acts, 
do so on the theory that Luke made use of Josephus. As 
already stated, Luke need not have been more than seventy 

1 Moffatt, Intr. to Lit. of the N. T., p. 312. 

*St. Paul the Traveller, p. 14. 3 Smith s D. R, 2 pp. 25-43. 

4 Comm., p. xxix. 

6 Hastings s Did. of Ap. Ch., article "Acts." 


at the end of the century, if a young man when he first became 
associated with Paul. Burkitt 1 and Peake 2 accept the view 
that Luke drew on the writings of Josephus. Stanton 3 con 
cludes that Luke made use of the Jewish War, but not the 
rest of the works of Josephus. If this is true, the late date is . 
not necessary. The date of the Antiquities is 94 A. D. It 
may be said at once that most of the arguments employed to 
prove that Luke knew the writings of Josephus are utterly in 
conclusive. Some of the arguments of Clemen 4 and Krenkel 5 
are criticised sharply by Belser 6 and Plummer, 7 who calls them 
"childish." By like arguments of common Greek words one 
may show that Luke was influenced by Thucydides. Some of 
the likenesses are due to the use of the Septuagint by both 
Luke and Josephus. The only matter of serious import is the 
fact that both Josephus (Ant. XX., v. 1 f.) and Luke (Acts, 
5: 36 f.) speak of Theudas and Judas the Galilean in this order 
as if Theudas lived before Judas. The two are mentioned in 
Josephus some twenty lines apart. The name Theudas is a 
common one. It is quite possible that another man is meant, 
as in the case of the tetrarch Lysanias in Luke 3:1. The dis 
crepancy only exists in case the same man is meant. Even 
then it is the discrepancy of Gamaliel and not of Luke, unless 
Luke wrote the speech. There are more divergences than like 
nesses in the two reports that suggest independent narratives, 
as in the two reports of the death of Herod Agrippa I. Lake 8 
considers the use of Josephus by Luke too doubtful to be de 
cisive: "The decennium 90-100 seems, on the whole, the most 
probable, but demonstrative proof is lacking." M. Jones 9 
thinks these inferences about the use of Josephus too "pre 
carious" to be conclusive. Plummer 10 holds this hypothesis 
"highly improbable." "Moreover, where the statements of 
either can be tested, it is Luke who is commonly found to be ac 
curate, whereas Josephus is often convicted of exaggeration and 

1 The Gospel History and Its Transmission, ch. iv. 

2 Introduction to the N. T., p. 135. 

3 The Gospels as Historical Documents, part II, pp. 263-273. 

4 Die Chronologic der paulin. Brief e (1893). 
6 Josephus und Lukas (1894). 

6 Theol. Quartalschrift, Tubingen (1895, 1896). 

7 Comm., p. xxx. 8 Hastings s Diet, of Ap. Ch., article "Acts." 

9 New Testament in the Twentieth Century, p. 255. 

10 Comm. } p. xxix. 


error." The supposed use of Josephus by Luke cannot, there 
fore, be held to be certain or, as I think, even probable. We 
must look elsewhere for decisive evidence on this subject. 
Harnack (Luke the Physician, p. 24, n. 2) says: "The time of 
Josephus need not be taken into consideration; for the theory 
that the author of the Acts had read that historian is quite 

Besides, there are strong arguments against the date 94-100, 
which Plummer 1 summarizes forcibly. The use of "the 
Christ" 2 as the Messiah instead of a proper name Christ 
would be hard to explain. The use of "the Lord" for Jesus, 
not in Matthew or in Mark save in the disputed appendix, 
would have been more common. Besides, would Luke have 
kept 21:32 if written after "this generation" had passed 
away? The historical atmosphere of Acts is not that of 
95-135 A. D. Besides, what could have induced a com 
panion of Paul to remain quiet so long after his death ? These 
arguments are very strong. 

(6) A. D. 70-80. The majority of modern critics date the 
Acts here. But nothing of a very positive nature can be 
adduced for this date. Ramsay 3 thinks that he has found "a 
clew, though in itself an uncertain one, to suggest the date 
when Luke was at work" on the Acts. The reign of Titus was 
reckoned from association with his father on July 1, A. D. 71. 
Hence, Ramsay argues, Luke wrote the Gospel (and the Acts) 
about that time, because he speaks of the reign of Tiberius 
(Luke 3 : 1-2) in the fifteenth year, reckoning from A. D. 12, 
when Tiberius was associated with Augustus in the empire. 
But this is too precarious an argument for so solid a conclu 
sion. The chief argument relied upon for the date shortly 
after A. D. 70 is Luke 21 : 20. It is argued by Sanday, B. Weiss 
and others that Luke here changes the language of Daniel 9 : 27 
in Mark 13: 14 and Matt. 24: 15 ("the abomination of deso 
lation") to the definite statement about Jerusalem being "en 
compassed with armies." It is held to be a vaticinium post 
ewntum. The omission of scripture quotation makes it neces 
sary also to omit the explanatory notes: "Let him that readeth 

1 Comm., pp. xxx, xxxi. 

2 & xptcrrf?. Cf. Luke 2:26; 3:15; 4:41; 9:20; 20:41; 22:35, 39; 
24 : 26, 46. 
3 St. Paul the Traveller, p. 387. 


understand/ But the mention of armies is very vague. 
Furneaux 1 is very positive and says that "the Third Gospel 
cannot have been written earlier than A. D. 70, the year of the 
destruction of Jerusalem. Hence, the Acts cannot have been 
written much before A. D. 75." But such a vigorous pronounce 
ment carries little weight. "Savonarola foretold, as early as 
A. D. 1496, the capture of Rome, which happened in 1527, 
and those sermons of 1496 were printed in 1497." 2 Surely 
Jesus could foretell as much as Savonarola, and Luke cannot be 
charged with writing this prophecy after the destruction of 
Jerusalem. Lake, 3 who holds to the late date, as we have 
seen, sees very little in the idea that the Gospel of Luke must 
be after the destruction of Jerusalem: "It is doubtful if there 
are really any satisfactory proofs that this was the case." 
Torrey (Composition and Date of Acts, p. 70) holds that all the 
items in Luke s report of the prediction occur in Old Testament 
prophecies and denies that the passage in Luke can be called a 
vaticinium ex ewntu. Plummer 4 makes much of the idea that 
the date A. D. 70-80 allows time for the "many" to draw up 
narratives about Christ, but there was time enough between 
A. D. 30 and 55 for that. Harnack 5 had already given up this 
argument in his Acts of the Apostles. He had himself 6 in 1897 
argued for A. D. 78 as the earliest possible date for Acts. Now 
in 1909 he writes "to warn critics against a too hasty closing 
of the chronological question." He concludes: 7 "Therefore, 
for the present, we must be content to say: St. Luke wrote at 
the time of Titus or in the earlier years of Domitian, but per 
haps even so early as the beginning of the seventh decade of 
the first century." So astonishing a surrender on the part of 
Harnack created consternation among many critics. It was 
clear that the matter could not rest thus. 

(c) About A. D. 63. The early date for the Acts has always 
nad able advpcates. Men like Alford, Blass, Ebrard, Farrar, 
Gloag, Godet, Headlam, Keil, Lange, Lumby, Maclean, 
Oesterzee, Resch, Schaff, Tholuck, Wieseler, have reasoned that 
Luke closes the Acts as he does and when he does for the simple 

1 Comm., p. x. 2 Blass, Philology of the Gospels, p. 42. 

3 Hastings s Dictionary of Ap. Ch., art. "Acts." 

4 Comm., p. xxxi. 5 Engl. tr., 1909, p. 291. 
Chronologic der alt-christl Litt. /., pp. 246-250, 718. 

7 Acts of the Apostles, p. 297. 


reason that events have proceeded no farther with Paul. " In 
investigating the date of a book, the first step is to look for the 
latest event mentioned." 1 And yet after A. D. 63 some of 
the most stirring events in Christian history occurred, like the 
burning of Rome in A. D. 64 with the persecution of Christians 
which is reflected in 1 Peter, the martyrdom of Peter and Paul, 
and the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in A. D. 70. 
How are we to explain the absence of any allusion to these 
great events? There are three ways of doing so. One is the 
view already stated. Rackham 2 puts the argument clearly. 
It seems incredible that Luke should betray no knowledge of 
Paul s death if he had known it. That would be the natural 
climax to the Acts. The martyrdom of Stephen and of James 
would have been crowned with that of Paul. Besides, Acts is 
a joyful book and Paul remains full of cheer to the very end. 
If Luke knew that Paul went back to Ephesus, would he have 
left the prediction in Acts 20 : 25 that he did not expect to see 
their faces again? Besides, in the Acts the attitude of Rome 
toward Christianity is still undecided, whereas after A. D. 64 
it became openly hostile. It was clear that Harnack must 
continue his studies on the date of Acts. This he does in his 
Date of the Acts and the Synoptic Gospels (tr. 1911). In 1909 
he pleads for fresh investigation. After an exhaustive survey 
of the whole question, he says: 3 "We are accordingly left with 
the result: that the concluding verses of the Acts of the Apos 
tles, taken in conjunction with the absence of any reference 
in the book to the result of the trial of St. Paul and to his 
martyrdom, make it in the highest degree probable that the 
work was written at a time when St. Paul s trial in Rome had 
not yet come to an end." With this conclusion I heartily 
agree and I had long held and taught it before Harnack reached 
it. Maclean 4 considers this view " the more probable." Blass, 5 
indeed, would place the Acts as early as A. D. 59. 

Lake 6 says that all this important argument is weakened by 
two other possibilities. One is that Luke contemplated a 
third volume in which he meant to go on with the story of Paul, 

Rackham, Acts, p. 1. 2 Ibid., pp. li ff. 

3 Date of the Acts and Synoptic Gospels, p. 99. 

4 Hastings s One Volume D. B., art. "Acts." 

5 Philology of the Gospels, pp. 33 ff . 

6 Hastings s Diet, of the Ap. Ch., art. "Acts," 


though, he adds, this theory is not very probable. Ramsay 
argues for it, but it is a mistaken notion to press Luke s use of 
"first" in Acts 1 : 1, as we have seen. The current Koine gives 
no support for such an idea. The other consideration ad 
vanced by Lake against the sudden and apparent abrupt end 
ing of Acts is that Luke really implies that the case fell through 
and that Paul was released by his mention of "two years." A 
passage in Philo s in Flaccum tells of a certain Lambon who 
was kept in prison for two years, which Philo calls the longest 
period. The idea seems to be that, if the case did not come to 
trial in two years, dismissal came as a matter of course. This 
is by no means certain, but even if it is, it would still not prove 
that Luke did not write the Acts just at the close of the period 
when there was prospect of Paul s release. Rackham, like 
Harnack, is impressed with the joyous and optimistic note of 
the Acts. 

Bartlet in his Apostolic Age and article on "Acts" in the 
Standard Bible Dictionary argues that Luke closed the Acts 
with Paul s arrival in Rome for artistic and literary reasons. 
This event marked the grand consummation of the Gospel in 
the early age. Paulus Romce apex evangelii. This natural 
climax would be spoiled by the fruitless story of Paul s release, 
journeys, arrest, trial and death. Certainly something can 
be said for this interpretation. E. J. Goodspeed 1 presses this 
argument against the force of Harnack s conclusion for the 
early date of Acts, which "carries with it important conse 
quences for early Christian literature." "If the subject of 
Acts is the Rise and Progress of the Greek Mission, it has 
reached in Paul at Rome a climax beyond which it could not 
go." 2 "When Acts is written Paul is a hallowed memory, 
and already the sects are beginning to appear." 3 Possibly so, 
but one feels that all this is too subjective for Luke. He shows 
literary skill and great ability as an historian, but he does not 
write like a novelist for artistic effect by concealing important 
facts. In the case of the Gospel he carries the story on to its 
actual climax, the Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus. It is 
hard to believe that, knowing of Paul s death, Luke avoided 
mention of the subject for fear of spoiling his story. Believe 
it who can. Headlam 4 notes that the arguments against the 

1 The Expositor, London, May, 1919, p. 387. 2 Ibid., p. 388. 

3 Ibid., p. 391. 4 Hastings s D. ., art. "Acts." 


arly view are not very strong, while it is the obvious way to 
treat the close of Acts. Besides, if Luke wrote after the de 
struction of Jerusalem, why did he not change "flee to the 
mountain" in Luke 21 : 21 when the Christians fled to Fella? 
On the whole, the early date has the best of it. We, therefore, 
date the Acts about A. D. 63 and in Rome. Torrey 1 puts the 
date for the supposed Aramaic Document (Acts 1-15) A. D. 50, 
and the translation of it by Luke and the writing of Acts 16-28 
not later than A. D. 64 and in Rome. It is needless to discuss 
Ephesus, Corinth, and the other places alleged in place of Rome 
as Luke s abode when he wrote the Acts. 

3. The Date of the Gospel. Our conclusion concerning the 
date of the Acts carries with it the early date of the Gospel. 
We have seen that Lake admitted as much. "It has usually 
been assumed that this (the date of the Lukan Gospel) must 
be posterior to the fall of Jerusalem in A. D. 70, but it is doubt 
ful whether there are really any satisfactory proofs that this 
was the case." 2 We have seen that there are no such proofs. 
The date of the Gospel turns on that of the Acts. The earliest 
evidence for the date of Luke s Gospel is Acts 1:1. Here Luke 
definitely refers to the book. Harnack 3 states the matter suc 
cinctly: "Hence, it is proved that it is altogether wrong to say 
that the eschatological passages force us to the conclusion that 
the Third Gospel was written after the year 70 A. D. And 
since there are no other reasons for a later date, it follows 
that the strong arguments, which favor the composition of the 
Acts before 70 A. D., now also apply in their full force to the 
Gospel of Luke, and it seems now to be established beyond question 
that both books of this great historical work were written while St. 
Paul was still alive" (italics Harnack s). I do not think that 
Harnack has put the matter more strongly than the evidence 
justifies. He expects that some critics will be slow to accept 
so firm a conclusion after a century of turmoil and dispute. 
The rapid conversion of Harnack to the early date is viewed 
with suspicion by some as unscientific. Lake 4 admits that 
"Harnack s powerful advocacy has turned the current of feel 
ing in favor of the traditional view, but he has really dealt 

1 Composition and Date of Acts, p. 67. 
2 Hastings s Diet. Ap. Church, art. "Acts." 

3 Date of Acts and Synoptic Gospels, p. 124. 

4 Hastings s Diet, of Ap. Ch., art. "Luke." 


adequately with only one side of the question and dismissed 
the theological and (to a somewhat less extent) the historical 
difficulty too easily." The theological argument strongly con 
firms the early date, for the picture of Christ in the Gospel of 
Luke is distinctly more primitive than that of Paul in the Epis 
tles of the first Roman imprisonment (Philippians, Colossians, 
Ephesians, Philemon), A. D. 61-63. Indeed, the same thing 
is true of Acts, particularly of the first half of the book. The 
historical question is dealt with in great detail by Ramsay in 
his various books. It cannot be said that the proof here argues 
strongly for 63 as against 75 A. D., but there is nothing that 
is hostile to the 63 date. The historical argument is decidedly 
against A. D. 95 to 100 A. D. Lake wishes to leave the ques 
tion of the date sub judice for the present. Jones 1 gives a fair 
resume of Harnack s arguments for A. D. 63, but still holds to 
A. D. 75-80 as "on the whole more satisfactory." But the 
facts brought out concerning A. D. 63 as the date for Acts will 
meet with increasing acceptance from scholars, in my opinion. 

If Luke wrote Acts while Paul was alive and in Rome, then 
he wrote the Gospel either before that, while in Csesarea (two 
years), or he finished it after reaching Rome, before he wrote 
the Acts. Torrey 2 argues, naturally, that the Book of Acts was 
an afterthought when Luke wrote the prologue to the Gospel. 
But Chase 3 is positive that Luke had the Acts in mind and 
meant the same prologue for both books. It matters little. 
The extreme brevity of the address to Theophilus in Acts with 
the reference to the prologue in the Gospel argues for a short 
period between the two volumes. Torrey therefore suggests 
A. D. 61 as the latest date for the Gospel. Moffatt 4 thinks it 
unsafe to contend that nine or ten years should elapse between 
the two books. 

There remains only one further difficulty of importance in 
the way of dating the Gospel of Luke so early as 59 or 60 in 
Csesarea or 61 in Rome. It is certain that Luke used the 
Gospel of Mark as one of his many sources for his Gospel. 
Synoptic criticism has proved this as clearly as seems possible. 5 

1 N. T. in Twentieth Century, p. 260. 

2 Composition and Date of Acts, p. 68. 

3 Credibility of the Acts, p. 16. 4 Intr. to Lit. of N. T., p. 313. 

5 See Sanday et alii, Oxford Studies in the Synoptic Problem (1911); Haw 
kins, Horce Synoptica? (1911); Robertson, Studies in Mark s Gospel (1919). 


Can the Gospel of Mark be dated before A. D. 59? Jones 1 
is convinced that Mark s Gospel does not stand in the way. 
Edmundson 2 holds that Luke had an earlier recension of Mark 
"for the use of Greek-speaking converts in Judea." But this 
hypothesis is by no means necessary. Luke made use of the 
Logia of Jesus (Q) as did Matthew, but no trouble arises from 
this source. It probably belongs to the period before 50 A. D. 
I have discussed the date of Mark s Gospel at some length in 
my Studies in Mark s Gospel and need not repeat the arguments 
here. Tradition and internal evidence combine to show that 
Mark wrote the Gospel while Peter was still alive. There is 
good ground for thinking that Mark 3 was in existence by 
A. D. 50. Both the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of 
Luke make use of Mark s Gospel. We know from Col. 4 : 10, 14 
that Mark and Luke were with Paul in Rome. Harnack 4 
finds that the latest recension of Mark s Gospel must come in 
"the sixth decade of the first century at the latest." It is 
therefore quite possible that Luke either in Csesarea or in 
Rome saw a copy of Mark s Gospel. Nolloth 5 places the 
Gospel of Luke 57 or 58 A. D. 

4. The Historical Worth of the Lukan Writings. The remain 
der of the present volume is an investigation of the reliability 
of Luke as a historian and the credibility of his works. The 
evidence must be discussed in detail. The proof will be cumu 
lative and varied. But at this stage of the discussion the point 
can be justly made that the early date of both Gospel and 
Acts gives a strong presumption in favor of the historical value 
of the books. There was less time for legends to grow. The 
author was nearer to his sources of information. The historian 
who is a near contemporary is not always able to give a true 
and large perspective for his facts, though Thucydides did it. 
But, at any rate, since Luke the physician, the friend of Paul, 
wrote these two books, they cannot be thrown aside as second- 
century romances written to deify Jesus and to idealize Peter 
and Paul. 6 The writer is so close to the facts of which he 

1 N. T. in the Twentieth Century, p. 258. 

2 The Church in Rome During the First Century, p. 67, n. 4. 

3 Nolloth, The Rise of the Christian Religion, 1917, p. 18. 

4 The Date of Acts and Synoptic Gospels, p. 133. 6 Op. cit., p. 15. 

6 The Tubingen view has been abandoned. Cf . Chase, Credibility of the 
Acts, p. 9. Jiilicher (EinL, p. 355) still speaks of "a genuine core" in Acts 
which is "overgrown with legendary accretions." 


writes that he has to receive serious consideration to see if, 
after all, he has not drawn his characters to the life. 

Even Harnack 1 balks at the miraculous element in Luke s 
Gospel and the Acts. He ranks Luke far above Josephus in 
historical worth, 2 but his prejudice against anything super 
natural explains his reluctance to rank Luke among the very 
highest historians. "The book has now been restored to the 
position of credit which is its rightful due. It is not only, 
taken as a whole, a genuinely historical work, but even in the 
majority of its details it is trustworthy." 3 That is all true, 
but Harnack fails to appraise Luke s work as highly as it de 
serves. But his witness is remarkable when one considers how 
far Harnack has come. 

But Ramsay has made the same journey, only he has been 
longer coming and has come farther. Let him tell his own 
story: 4 "I began with a mind unfavorable to it (the value of 
the Acts), for the ingenuity and apparent completeness of the 
Tubingen theory had at one time quite convinced me. . . . 
It was gradually borne in upon me that in various details the 
narrative showed marvellous truth." The leaven worked in 
Ramsay s mind as he kept up his researches in Asia Minor. 
He came to the study of Luke and Paul from the side of classi 
cal scholarship and the archaeology of the Grseco-Roman civili 
zation. The whole drift of modern criticism is reflected in 
Ramsay s own experience. "The question among modern 
scholars now is with regard to Luke s credibility as a historian; 
it is generally conceded that he wrote at a comparatively early 
date, and had authorities of high character, even when he 
himself was not an eye-witness. How far can we believe his 
narrative? The present writer takes the view that Luke s 
history is unsurpassed in respect of its trustworthiness." 5 
This testimony of Ramsay is of the greatest value. Ramsay is 
not infallible, but he is sincere and able, and relates with im 
mense power his own conversion to the high estimate of Luke 
as a historian. "The first and the essential quality of the 
historian is truth." 6 "The more that I have studied the nar- 

1 Cf. his "Primitive Legends of Christendom" in his Date of the Acts 
and the Synoptic Gospels, pp. 136-162. 

2 The Acts of the Apostles, pp. 203-229. 

3 Ibid., p. 298. St. Paul the Traveller, p. 8. 
6 The Bearing of Recent Discovery, p. 81. 6 St. Paul the Traveller, p. 4. 


rative of the Acts, and the more I have learned year after year 
about Greco-Roman society and thoughts and fashions and 
organizations in those provinces, the more I admire and the 
better I understand. I set out to look for truth on the border 
land where Greece and Asia meet, and found it here. You 
may press the words of Luke in a degree far beyond any other 
historian s, and they stand the keenest scrutiny and the hard 
est treatment, provided always that the critic knows the sub 
ject and does not go beyond the limits of science and justice." 1 
That judgment will be found to be true if one looks at all the 
facts with an open mind. 

There is hardly need to say more, but for one thing. No 
plea is made that Luke could not make any mistakes because 
he was inspired. He himself makes no direct claim to inspira 
tion. That is a matter of opinion. We know very little about 
the nature of inspiration. It is a fact as life is a fact, but we 
understand neither one. The writings of Luke are just as 
much inspired after research has confirmed them as they were 
before; no more, no less. Luke is entitled to be trusted like 
any other ancient historian. It is not necessary to show that 
he never made a mistake or to be able to solve every difficulty 
raised by his writings in order to form an intelligent opinion 
about the value of his works. 2 Ramsay 3 puts the case justly: 
"Our hypothesis is that Acts was written by a great historian, 
a writer who set himself the task to record the facts as they 
occurred, a strong partisan indeed, but raised above partiality 
by his perfect confidence that he had only to describe the facts 
as they occurred, in order to make the truth of Christianity 
and the honor of Paul apparent." Ramsay, after a lifetime of 
research, ranks Luke as the greatest of all historians, ancient 
or modern. The Gospel stands the same test that the Acts 
has undergone. It is not only the most beautiful book in the 
world, but it is written with the utmost care and skill. Luke 
himself tells us his methods of work upon this book, methods 
that he undoubtedly applied also to his work upon the Acts. 
We are now in a position to let Luke speak for himself concern 
ing his habits and motives as a historian. 

1 Bearing of Recent Discovery, p. 89. 

2 Ramsay, St. Paul the Traveller, p. 16. * Ibid., p. 14. 


"It seemed good to me also" (Luke 1 : 3) 

1. The Habits of a Literary Man. Luke alone has a literary 
prologue to his Gospel (1 : 1-4) that answers also for the Acts, 
whether he meant it to do so at the time or not. It is imma 
terial whether or not Luke consciously imitated the prefaces 
of Herodotus, Thucydides and Polybius, or that of Dioscorides, 
the famous medical writer on plants (materia medico), and of 
Hippocrates. There are verbal parallels to one or all of them 
and Luke s does not suffer by comparison with any one of them. 
The preface of Luke s Gospel " is modelled on the conventional 
lines of ancient literature," 2 as is natural for one who under 
takes to write a history. "Luke s method is historical, but 
his object, like that of John (20 : 31), is religious." 3 The point 
to note here is that it is "Luke s intention to write history, 
and not polemical or apologetic treatises." 4 Hence he reveals 
his method of work in these opening verses of the Gospel in a 
clear manner. All that we really know about the composition 
of early narratives concerning the life of Christ we obtain from 
these verses. 5 Their value is therefore inestimable. With 
utter frankness Luke lays bare his literary plan, method and 
spirit. "Great historians are the rarest of writers." 6 Ram 
say undertakes to show that Luke measures up to the standard 
of Thucydides, and in some respects surpasses him. It is 
important, therefore, to see what Luke has to say about him 
self and his habits of work. 

The preface is not only literary in structure and vocabulary, 
but it is also periodic in form. It is written in the grand style. 
Blass 7 would call it Atticistic, but it is enough to say that it is 
in the literary Koine. The sentence 8 is composed of six mem- 

1 The Biblical Review, April, 1920. 

2 Moffatt, Intr. to Lit. of N. T., p. 263. Ibid. 
4 Plummer, Comm. on Luke, p. xxxvi. 

6 Plummer, Comm. on Luke, p. 2. 

6 Ramsay, St. Paul the Traveller, p. 3. 

7 Philology of the Gospels, p. 9. 8 Ibid., p. 10. 



bers, three in the protasis and three in the apodosis, and they 
correspond with each other in the style of the finished literary 
writer. The language is ornate rather than colloquial. But, 
withal, it is precise and there is not any display of rhetoric. 
There is literary skill beyond a doubt, that no one but a man 
of real culture can show. Luke nowhere else in his writings 
employs just this style, because elsewhere he follows more or 
less closely his sources. 

But we are fortunate in this glimpse of the historian in his 
study. It is not hard to see the pile of notes of conversation 
or of investigation lying near at hand. Here are papyri rolls 
of previous monographs on various phases of the life of Christ. 
Luke himself sits by his own small desk with his own roll 
spread out before him. He writes after he has gotten ready to 
write and with all available data at hand. The papyri dis 
covered in Egypt 1 help us to reproduce the workshop of Luke, 
who proved to be the greatest of all historians, by the skill 
that he displayed in the use of his materials. Renan 2 rightly 
terms the Gospel of Luke "the most literary of the Gospels," 
as well as the most beautiful book in the world. Sanday 3 says: 
"St. Luke has more literary ambition than his fellows." The 
prologue has the aim of an educated man with scientific train 
ing and habits. "Something of the scholar s exactness is 
included in the ideal of Luke." 4 The writer undoubtedly 
employs the same literary methods for the Acts that he men 
tions in the preface to the Gospel. 5 

Luke has taken great pains to make himself understood in 
his prologue and has given a great deal of valuable information 

1 Not all students have access to the great printed collections of papyri 
like the Amherst Papyri by Grenfell and Hunt (P. Amh.), the JZgyptische 
Urkunden aus den Kceniglichen Museen zu Berlin (B. G. U.), Greek Papyri 
in the British Museum (P. Brit. Mus.), Fayum Towns and their Papyri by 
Grenfell and Hunt and Hogarth (P. Fay.), the Hibeh Papyri by Grenfell 
and Hunt (P. Hib.), the Oxyrhynchus Papyri by Grenfell and Hunt 
(P. Oxy.). There are convenient handbooks that give valuable informa 
tion concerning the papyri like Milligan s Greek Papyri, Deissmann s Bible 
Studies and his Light from the Ancient East, Milligan s New Testament 
Documents, Cobern s The New Archaeological Discoveries and Their Bear 
ing upon the New Testament, Souter s Pocket Lexicon of the Greek New 
Testament, and in particular Moulton and Milligan s Vocabulary of the New 
Testament. Abbott-Smith s Manual Lexicon of the Greek N. T. is in press. 

2 Les Evangiks, chap. XIII. 3 Book by Book, p. 401. 
4 Hayes, Synoptic Gospels and Acts, p. 217. 6 Furneaux, Acts, p. 1. 


in condensed form, but he has been seriously misunderstood at 
several points as will be shown. 1 Luke knows that what he 
says must be trustworthy, but he is entitled to be judged by 
what he undertook to do, not by our theories of what he ought 
to have done. "It is necessary to study every historian s 
method, and not to judge him according to whether or not he 
uses our methods." 2 So then we must study Luke s method, 
not that of the modern critic of Luke. Let Luke himself speak 
to us. What does he say of his own qualifications for his great 

2. Stimulated by the Work of Others. "Forasmuch as many 
have taken in hand to draw up a narrative ... it seemed 
good to me also." The reason is stated in a formal manner, 
but with perfect directness. The grammatical construction 3 is 
like that in Acts 15: 24, 25: "Forasmuch as we have heard . . . 
it seemed good unto us." How "many" had made such 
"attempts"? No one knows, but "this preface gives a lively 
picture of the intense, universal interest felt by the early 
Church in the story of the Lord Jesus: Apostles constantly tell 
ing what they had seen and heard; many of their hearers tak 
ing notes of what they said for the benefit of themselves and 
others: through these gospelets acquaintance with the evan 
gelic history circulating among believers, creating a thirst for 
more and yet more; imposing on such a man as Luke the task 
of preparing a Gospel as full, correct and well-arranged as pos 
sible through the use of all available means previous writings 
or oral testimony of surviving witnesses." 4 Cicero employed 
shorthand in the trial of Catiline and shorthand was much in 
vogue in the first century A. D. Salmon 5 thinks that the 
Logia of Jesus (Q) was written down in notes during the life of 
Jesus. The discovery of Sayings of Jesus in the Oxyrhynchus 
Papyri illustrates how this was done. 

There is no real objection to thinking of a considerable num 
ber of fragmentary reports of the life and words of Jesus. 

1 Blass, Philology of the Gospels, p. 7. 

2 Ramsay, St. Paid the Traveller, p. 17. 

3 Plummer, Comm., p. 2. The word Ixst^xep (iml, 8^, irfp) is common in 
ancient Greek and the Lxx, but not elsewhere in the N. T. In Acts 15 : 24 
it is exetB^. 

4 Bruce, Expositors 1 Greek Test., on Luke 1:4. 

5 Human Element in the Gospels, p. 274. So Ramsay, The Expositor, May, 


Only the so-called apocryphal Gospels are ruled out because 
they belong to a much later time. "Probably all the docu 
ments here alluded to were driven out of existence by the 
manifest superiority of the four canonical Gospels." So Plum- 
mer 1 argues, unless, forsooth, Luke included Mark s Gospel and 
the Logia of Matthew in the list, as now seems certain. The 
Logia of Matthew is largely preserved by the Gospel of Matthew 
and the Gospel of Luke. Mark s Gospel, used by both Matthew 
and Luke, has survived intact save for the ending. But the 
other sources have disappeared. 

Does Luke mean to disparage the other attempts at writing 
accounts of Jesus? He certainly does not mean censure since 
he brackets himself, "me also," with the other writers. 2 The 
word 3 for "attempted" literally means "to take in hand, to 
undertake," and does not of itself imply failure or error. There 
is nothing hi this context to suggest that previous efforts were 
heretical or unreliable. Luke does imply that they were in 
complete and so inadequate for the needs of Theophilus and 
for others like him. Theophilus had received instruction 4 of a 
more or less formal nature, like a catechumen, concerning 
Jesus, but Luke wishes him to have a fuller and more compre 
hensive story. Bruce 5 suggests that there was a widespread 
impulse to preserve in writing the evangelic memorabilia that 
stimulated Luke to do likewise. His active mind was seized 
with the desire to make a more adequate and orderly presenta 
tion of the words and deeds of Jesus while it was still possible 
to do so. In doing this great service he was conscious of meet 
ing a widespread demand, the author s usual sense of filling a 
long-felt want, that sometimes is true, though publishers can 
not always know it. 

There was, therefore, "extensive activity in the production 
of rudimentary gospels," Bruce 6 argues. It was a time of lit 
erary activity concerning Jesus. Great literature is usually 
produced under the incentive of some great impulse or excite 
ment, like love, war, discovery. New ideas spur the mind to 
fresh effort. The years at Ca3sarea offered Luke an oppor 
tunity for new research and for first-hand knowledge that set 
his soul aflame. Luke, instead of being deterred by the mul- 

1 Comm., p. 2. 2 Plummer, Comm., p. 2. 

3 eicexstooav. 4 xa-njx^?, 1 : 4. 

6 On Luke 1:1. Ibid. 


tiplicity of efforts, was the rather incited to one more attempt 
on a more ambitious scale, one that would conserve the best 
in all of them and thus give a richer and a more exact portrayal 
of Christ than had yet been drawn. That he accomplished 
this purpose is plain in respect to Mark s Gospel, which has 
fortunately survived. It seems true, also, of the Logia (Q). 
It was all the more true of the others that have perished pre 
cisely because Luke did his work so well. 

It is certain that Luke is not hostile to the Twelve in the 
writing of his Gospel. The book itself refutes that idea. 1 It 
is open to him to improve upon the words of others if he can. 
It is certain, also, that though Luke is the friend and follower 
of Paul, he is not a narrow partisan of Paul. He cannot in the 
Acts be accused of distorting history in the interest of Paul or 
of Peter or of promoting a reconciliation between them. 2 In 
spite of the fact that Paul is Luke s hero in the Acts, Ramsay 3 
can say: "It is rare to find a narrative so simple and so little 
forced as that of Acts. It is a mere uncolored recital of the 
important facts in the briefest possible terms." The same 
thing is true of the Gospel. Luke is a master artist in his 
grouping of the facts, but they are facts. "St. Luke remains 
unconvicted of the charge of writing party pamphlets under 
the cover of fictitious history." 

3. A Contemporary of the Events, but a Participant in None 
Save Part of the Acts. In the "we" sections of Acts Luke was 
an eye-witness and a fellow-worker. But in the rest of the Acts 
and all of the Gospel he has to rely upon others for his informa 
tion. This is the natural implication of his language about the 
Gospel. "Eye-witnesses and ministers of the word have de 
livered unto us" the story of "the things that have been fulfilled 
among us." The "us" here, occurring twice, is clearly not the 
literary plural, which Paul sometimes employs, but " among us 
Christians," "to us Christians." "Christendom is the sphere 
in which these facts have had their accomplishment." 4 The 
use of "delivered" 5 shows that some time has elapsed since 
the events took place. Plummer 6 says: "If these things were 

1 Plummer, Comm., p. xxxvi. 

2 Moffatt, Intr. to the Lit. of N. T., pp. 301-2. 

3 Ramsay, St. Paul the Travelkr, p. 20. 

4 Plummer, Comm., p. 3. 

* -jcapiSoaav. Cf . TOcp&Soatq for tradition. 6 Ibid. 


handed down to Luke, then he was not contemporary with 
them." Not in the strictest sense, to be sure, and yet, if Luke 
was only forty years old in A. D. 60, he was ten years old in 
A. D. 30, old enough to hear echoes of what was going on in 
Palestine if he was within reach. He was more likely fifty 
than forty. Luke comes in between the first generation of 
eye-witnesses and the second generation, whose lives come 
wholly after the great era of the life of Christ on earth. For 
the life of Paul he is both contemporary with all and partici 
pant in much of it. 

But he looks backward quite distinctly upon the story of 
Jesus "concerning those matters which have been fulfilled 
among us." The perfect tense 1 emphasizes the idea that the 
story has been preserved as well as finished. It is not clear 
what the sonorous verb means. Eusebius takes it in the sense 
of "convince," as Paul does in Rom. 14:5; Col. 4: 12. But 
Paul uses it of persons, not of things. Others take the word 
in the sense of "believe," "surely believed" (A. V.), following 
Tyndale, but that hardly seems suitable. Others make it 
"fully proved." Bruce 2 suggests "fulness of knowledge," but 
that is a bit strained. The natural way is to take it in the 
sense of "fulfil," "complete" as in II Tim. 4:5, 17. 3 This is 
Jerome s translation "completes surd" Luke writes after the 
close of Christ s earthly ministry and yet it is not in the dim 

If Luke is writing in Csesarea, he includes himself naturally 
among the "us." He is in the midst of the atmosphere of the 
life of Jesus, At every turn he finds fresh reminders of word 
and deed of Jesus. The Christian community in Judea still 
recall the wonderful words of the matchless teacher. 4 He could 
not be insensible to his environment. Though a Greek of An- 
tioch, let us say, yet he was now a Christian, and everything 
that concerned Jesus interested him. Through the centuries 
since men have made pilgrimages to Palestine to get the proper 
orientation for the study of the life of Christ. Luke had time 
enough to gratify his eagerness for details and his scholarly 
desire for accuracy. He had come to Christ from the heathen 
fold and had looked upon Christianity as a great moral and 

v. 2 Cowim., p. 458. 

3 LikeTXTj P 6to(Act8l9:21). 

Philology of the Gospels, p. 14. 


spiritual revolution. It is difficult for a contemporary to get 
the right perspective. But Luke is a man of ability, culture 
and wide sympathy. He has a large horizon and draws his 
picture upon a large canvas. He knows that he is discussing 
the life story of the Man of the Ages. It is important that he 
be sure of his facts. 

4. Talks with Eye-witnesses. One would feel sure that Luke 
would make it his business while in Palestine to seek interviews 
with important persons who could add bits of color to his nar 
rative about Christ, if he had any idea of writing the story of 
Jesus. He would listen to those talk who saw and heard Jesus. 
But we are not left to conjecture. These "eye-witnesses" 1 
were primary authorities and spoke from personal experience 
and knowledge. They saw with their own eyes and gave their 
own interpretations of what took place. People would be 
eager to tell what they knew of this or that incident, whether 
they knew of Luke s purpose or not. A few questions would 
draw out much information which Luke would be quick to jot 
down. But the public preaching of the word consisted largely 
in the recital of the great events in the life and death of Jesus, 
as we can see from the sermons of Peter and Paul in the Acts. 
Luke had only to make notes as he listened to these " ministers 
of the word," 2 many of whom were also eye-witnesses, to add 
to his store of oral testimony. 

They not only had personal experience, but they had also 
practical experience of the power of the preached word on 
human lives. 3 Many of them had followed Christ from the 
start and were thus able to speak with authority. They knew 
the outstanding facts connected with the ministry of Christ 
from the beginning. Some of them may have known the still 
earlier details of the childhood, though it is almost certain 
that the preaching of the time began with the ministry of 
Jesus (Acts 10: 36-43). Luke later (Acts 1 : 1) explains that 
his Gospel treated "all that Jesus began to do and to teach." 

In II Peter 1 : 16 we have !ic6xrac for the eager beholders 
of the majestic glory on the mount of transfiguration. Cf. eicoirre&ovTeg 
in I Pet. 2 : 12. 

2 fciajpikat TOU X6You. It is hardly likely that Luke here employs X6yo? 
in the Johannine sense of the personal Word. These "under-rowers" had 
much to tell that was worth while. Cf. Luke 4 : 20; Acts 13 : 5. 

3 Plummer, Comm., p. 3. 


The Jews lay great store by oral witness. Books were ex 
pensive and scarce in spite of the remark in Ecclesiastes about 
the making of so many books. People had to rely largely on 
the memory for the retention of knowledge. The Jews them 
selves developed a vast system of oral law in elucidation of the 
written law, and finally came to think more of it than they did 
of the Mosaic law. Westcott and A. Wright look to the oral 
teaching as the main, if not tjie only, source of the gospels. 
In this they are not sustained by modern research. But we 
must not overlook the fact that, when Luke wrote his Gospel, 
he had easy access to eye-witnesses whose testimony was of 
inestimable value. He himself speaks (Acts 21:16) of "one 
Mnason of Cyprus, an early disciple, with whom we should 
lodge." There were many more. Philip and his four daugh 
ters were in Csesarea, and had but recently entertained Paul 
and his party (Acts 21 : 8 f.). James, the brother of the Lord, 
and all the elders met Paul and Luke in Jerusalem (21 : 18). 
Harnack (Luke the Physician, p. 122) thinks that Luke did 
not at this time know the Twelve Apostles. He certainly 
knew Mark and his mother Mary, whose home was the centre 
of the Christian life in Jerusalem (Acts 12 : 12). It is possible 
that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was still alive. She may have 
lived in Jerusalem with James, now that he is a firm believer 
and leader. But, if Mary was no longer living, James may 
have had her narrative of the great events that she alone knew. 
Each one would have his own story to tell. Each would sup 
plement the other. The true historian knows how to prize 
and to weigh oral testimony. That Luke did not follow old 
wives fables and foolish legends is proven by a comparison of 
his books with the apocryphal lives of Jesus. 

5. Examination of Documents. Luke expressly says that 
"many have taken in hand to draw up a narrative." It is not 
perfectly clear what Luke means by "draw up a narrative." l 
The word for "narrative" "implies more than mere notes or 
anecdotes." 2 It is a carrying through a connected story to 
the end (cf. Sirach, 6 : 35; II Mac. 2 : 32). Luke draws a dis 
tinction between the oral testimony of eye-witnesses in verse 2 
and the written documents in verse I. 3 Both verb and sub 
stantive occur here alone in the New Testament. The verb is 

1 dcvaT<4<xo0ai Ziiifriaiv. 3 Plummer, Comm.. p. 3. 

3 Blass, Philology of the Gospels, p. 16. 


a rare one in Greek literature. 1 In both instances the notion 
of repetition or practice is present. Plutarch has an elephant 
practising by moonlight from memory what his keeper taught 
him. Irenseus describes Ezra as restoring from memory the 
words of the prophets. Blass, 2 therefore, plausibly argues that 
Luke s meaning must be this: "Since many writers have under 
taken to restore from memory a narrative of the things which 
have come to pass among us." The oral tradition was liable 
to pass into oblivion unless it were written down while still a 
living memory. This is probably the true idea. 

It may well be that some of the "many" themselves had 
access to written documents. Luke uses a general expression. 
But he undoubtedly means to affirm that he had access to a 
number of written documents concerning the life of Jesus. 
This statement, as already shown, effectually disposes of the 
idea that our Gospels relied entirely upon oral testimony. But 
the next verse shows plainly that Luke employed oral testi 
mony, also. He made use of both kinds of testimony, as any 
sensible man in his position would do. He has before him, 
as he writes, some of these narratives which have incited him 
to his task. 

But it is not enough to be in possession of priceless historical 
treasures, absolutely essential as this fact is for all historical 
research. The true historian cannot and dare not "invent" 
his facts save in the etymological sense of that word. He must 
find his facts before he writes. Research is the first step, long 
and patient gathering of the data. I may be excused a per 
sonal word at this point. My first book, The Life and Letters 
of John A. Broadus (1901), was written after reading some 
twenty-five thousand letters, besides other biographical mate 
rial. Before anything else was done, these letters had to be 
read, all of them. A selection of all that threw light upon the 
life of Broadus was made and placed in chronological order. 
This was the first step, but it was not all. What was the rela 
tive value and importance of this varied assortment of material ? 

6. Sifting the Evidence. We can picture Luke in his study 
with his papers piled around him, papyrus rolls and scraps at 

1 Plutarch (De Soil Animal xii), Irenseus (III, 21 : 2), and v. 1 in Eccles. 
2 : 20. 

2 Phil of the Gospels, p. 15. The Latin and English versions vary greatly 
in the translation of this word. 


every turn. But he is not yet ready to write his book. He 
himself tells what his next step was. He only began to write 
after "having traced the course of all things accurately from 
the first." 1 Eusebius 2 takes "all" as masculine, a reference 
to the eye-witnesses and ministers. Epiphanius 3 expressly says 
that Luke followed closely the eye-witnesses and ministers of 
the word. This is the literal meaning of the verb, following 
closely by one s side. Certainly Luke was not a constant fol 
lower of the Twelve from the beginning or of other eye-witnesses 
of Christ, though he probably knew some of them. Besides, 
this literal sense of this compound verb occurs nowhere else in 
the New Testament. "But Polybius and other Hellenistic 
authors employ the verb in the sense of studying, and there 
can be no doubt that Luke s use is the same." 4 Luke means 
that he had instituted a process of research in his inquiries con 
cerning the life of Christ that covered "all things." It was, 
therefore, a thorough and careful investigation that began at 
the beginning, "from the first," 5 meaning with the birth of 
John the Baptist, as the sequel shows. "He has begun at the 
beginning, and he has investigated everything." 6 Bruce 7 
thinks that Luke made this research "long antecedent to the 
formation of his plan." The tense of the verb is perfect and 
naturally bears that meaning, if by "plan" is meant the out 
line of the Gospel, not the purpose to write it. The idea of 
Luke seems to be that, having decided to write another and a 
fuller narrative than those in existence, he first made an inves 
tigation of all the available material that he could lay his hands 

But he adds one other word 8 that is quite pertinent. He 
has done it "accurately." There is no idle boast in these three 
qualifications for his task. 9 In a straightforward way Luke 
reveals his literary method. He has aimed at full research 
and accurate use of his material. He has not dumped it all 
out in anecdotal form with no appraisement of its value. He 

SvtoOsv iraacv dtxpcpwq. Cf. Demosthenes, De Corona, ch. 
LIII, 344 (p. 285) icapTjxoXouOTjxiTa, rot? -jcpdcyixaatv l dcpxTJ?. 
2 III, 24, 15. So the Syrian Translation. 3 Ag. Her., 51, 7. 
4 Blass, Philology of the Gospels, p. 18. 
6 a principio, the Vulgate has it. 

6 Plummer, Comrn., p. 4. 7 Comrn., p. 459. 

8 dxpipd><;. Plummer, Comm., p. 4. 


has weighed the worth of the information before he told it. 
He has tried to tell it as it happened. Accurate writing can 
only follow accurate investigation. In a word, Luke has sifted 
the evidence and has given us the wheat, not the chaff. This 
is a necessary task for the historian if he is to be more than a 
mere romancer.. Even Harnack, 1 though championing the 
Lukan authorship of Gospel and Acts, is still skeptical about 
his use of his authorities. "He certainly believes himself to 
be an historian (see the prologue) and so he is; but his powers 
are limited, for he adopts an attitude toward his authorities 
which is as distinctly uncritical as that which he adopts towards 
his own experiences, if these admit of a miraculous interpreta 
tion." Harnack here charges Luke with giving a miraculous 
coloring to natural occurrences, when he was probably less dis 
posed to do that than any man of his day. Luke distinctly 
claims accurate research. It is quite compatible 2 with this 
historical research and love for the truth that one should have 
a sense of decorum and reverence. But Luke is not the man 
to be charged with mere credulity without proof. 

Luke does not say that the previous writers were not accu 
rate. He only claims that he has covered the whole field and 
has done it in harmony with the facts as he could ascertain 
them after careful investigation. "And, in spite of the sever 
est scrutiny, his accuracy can very rarely be impugned." ; 
And the results of modern research confirm the justice of 
Luke s claim wherever his works can be tested by new dis 
coveries. This will be shown to be true in detail in succeeding 
chapters in a most astonishing degree. 

Ruskin 4 has a good word about misjudging a writer: "Be 
sure that you go to the author to get at his meaning, not to 
find yours and to judge it afterwards, if you think yourself 
qualified to do so; but ascertain it first. And be sure, also, if 
the author is worth anything, that you will not get at his 
meaning all at once; nay, that at his whole meaning you will 
not for a long time arrive in any wise." Luke, like any other 
writer, is entitled to be credited with his own conception of 
his task. He disclaims being a slipshod writer in the use of 
his material. He has the Greek love for clarity and for truth. 
He has the physician s skill in diagnosis that will stand him in 

1 Luke the Physician, p. 123. 2 Bruce, Comm., p. 460. 

8 Plummer, Comm., p. 4. 4 Sesame and Lilies, p. 15. 


good atead as he dissects the data before him. He has traced 
the story of Jesus from its origin with historical insight and 
balanced judgment. He is already in possession of the evi 
dence before he begins to write, as the perfect tense shows. 
He does not jot down scraps of information in a haphazard 
way as he gets hold of it. "Luke claims to have studied and 
comprehended every event in its origin and development." l 
He has gotten ready to write before he begins to write. 

7. Orderly Arrangement. "To write unto thee in order/ 
Luke declared to be his purpose. What kind of "order" 2 is 
it ? He does not say that it is chronological order, though one 
naturally thinks of that. Papias 3 states that Mark s Gospel 
was not "in order," but he employs a different word, 4 which 
suggests military order. Luke s word occurs in Acts 11:4 con 
cerning Peter s discourse in Jerusalem about the events in 
Csesarea which Blass 5 interprets to be a full recital without 
important omissions, a complete series rather than chrono 
logical sequence. Ramsay 6 takes it to be "a rational order, 
making things comprehensible, omitting nothing that is essen 
tial for full and proper understanding." Such an order would 
be chronological in its main features. That is true of the 
great turning points in the Gospel, most assuredly. As a mat 
ter of fact, both Luke and Matthew follow the general order 
of Mark s Gospel. Matthew departs from it mainly in the 
first part and Luke in the last part, where each introduces new 
material on a large scale. Plummer 7 thinks that Luke gen 
erally aims at chronological order and on the whole attains it 
without, however, slavishly following chronology in every de 
tail. In the Acts the chronological order is plain, as a rule. 
But there is no proof that Luke deliberately formed a scheme 
of theological development in the life of Christ and then 
selected his material to illustrate it. 8 Luke sometimes prefers 
another order to the chronological, but it is always a systematic 
treatment and not a mere hotch-potch. 

He has a proper proportion, also, in his use of his material, 

1 Ramsay, Was Christ Born at Bethlehem ?, p. 11. 

2 xaOe^g. Peculiar to Luke in the N. T. 

3 Eus., Hist. EccL, 3 : 39, 151. 4 T^SC. 

5 Philology of the Gospels, pp. 18 f . 

6 Was Christ Born at Bethlehem ?, p. 14, 

7 Comm., p. xxxvii. 8 Ibid. 


and writes the story with due regard to scale and space. 1 Each 
event receives treatment according to its importance in rela 
tion to the whole. "The historian who is to give a brief his 
tory of a great period need not reproduce on a reduced uniform 
scale all the facts which he would mention in a long history, 
like a picture reduced by a photographic process." 2 He must 
omit a great deal, he must seize the critical points, he must 
interpret the great personalities, he must make the whole 
vivid, and give a true perspective. The outstanding feature 
of Luke s Gospel is its completeness. It charms one with its 
sheer beauty and power. 

There is no discounting the artistic skill of Luke in his lit 
erary workmanship. He must be attacked on some other 
ground. But there is no trace of literary affectation or arti 
ficial whimsicalities. Lieutenant-Colonel G. Mackinlay 3 makes 
out an interesting case for his theory that Luke is fond of 
"triplications" in his Gospel. But one wonders if Luke made 
conscious use of such a literary device. He is writing a serious 
history, not mere memoirs, not a biographical puzzle. He is 
full of the historic spirit and sets forth the grand development 
of the life of Christ toward the great Tragedy and the grand 
victory of the Resurrection. 

Luke s Gospel is the nearest approach to a biography 4 that 
we have, since he begins with the birth and carries on, at inter 
vals, to the grand close. It is not only the most comprehen 
sive, but it is also the longest of the gospels. If we think of 
the whole course of Christian history in the Gospel and Acts 
the work is chronological. 5 The figures are drawn with life 
like power and the greatest drama of human history is set forth 
with supreme literary skill. The book is a scholar s attempt 
to picture and to interpret the life of Christ for the world at 
large. Theophilus is the representative of this outside world 
beyond Palestine. Luke has supreme equipment for such an 
undertaking by birth, education and diligence. As a scien 
tific physician he learned to make generalizations from speci 
mens. So as the historian he knows how to make the miracles 
and parables of Jesus picture the Great Physician and Teacher. 

1 Ramsay, Was Christ Barn at Bethlehem ?, p. 14. 

2 Ramsay, St. Paul the Traveller, p. 7. 

3 The Literary Marvels of St. Luke (1919). 

4 Plummer, Comm., p. xli. B Chase, Credibility of the Acts, p. 17. 


8. Reliable Results. Luke is able to assure Theophilus, who 
had already received technical instruction 1 in the matters per 
taining to the life of Christ, and whose deep interest in the 
subject can be assumed, that he can feel confident concerning 
"the certainty" of the new narrative. Luke wrote pointedly 
"that thou mightest know the certainty concerning the things 
wherein thou wast instructed." Theophilus had received many 
details 2 about the various events which the ministers of the 
word had related to Luke. 3 Now he will have the same full 
knowledge 4 that the Christians in Judea have enjoyed, with 
the advantage that he will have it in a comprehensive and 
unified treatise that will preserve in written form much that 
would else be perishable. 5 Luke may not have perceived what 
a treasure for mankind he had prepared, but he wishes The 
ophilus to understand "that the faith which he has embraced 
has an impregnable historical foundation." 6 

There is a solemn emphasis in the conclusion of Luke s pref 
ace. Harnack 7 admits, as we have seen, that Luke " certainly 
believes himself to be an historian." Ramsay 8 has a luminous 
chapter on "Luke s History: What it professes to be" in his 
Was Christ Born at Bethlehem ? He shows that it is distinctly 
uncritical to accept the Gospel and Acts "as the work of the 
real St. Luke, the follower and disciple and physician and inti 
mate friend of Paul," and then "to write about the inadequacy 
of his authorities, the incompleteness of his information, the 
puzzling variation in the scale and character of his narrative 
according as he had good or inferior authorities to trust to." 9 
Certainly Luke would repudiate that estimate of his work. 
"He claims to state throughout what is perfectly trustworthy. 
It may be allowed, consistently, that his information was not 
everywhere agreeably good and complete." 10 Ramsay 11 presses 
the argument of Luke to a conclusion: "Either an author who 

This verb is used in 21:21 of wrong information, but 
that is not the essential idea, as Blass (Philology of the Gospels, p. 20) seems 
to think. The verb XOCTIQX&O means to sound down or din into the ears. 

2 X6Yoi in verse 4, not xpiYf-aTa of verse 1. 

3 Plummer, Comm., p. 5. 

4 !iuyv(p<;. Additional (ext-) knowledge. 

6 Blass, Philology of the Gospels, p. 20. 

6 Plummer, Comm., p. 5. 7 Luke the Physician, p. 123. 

8 Pp. 3-21. 9 Was Christ Born at Bethlehem? p. 16. 

>Ibid, "Ibid., p. 18. 


begins with a declaration such as that (in his preface) had 
mixed freely with many of the eye-witnesses and actors in the 
events which he proceeds to record, or he is a thorough impos 
tor, who consciously and deliberately aims at producing belief 
in his exceptional qualifications in order to gain credit for his 
History." "If the author was an impostor, his work remains 
one of the most incomprehensible and unintelligible facts in 
literary history." 

Luke has made his bold claim. It has been viciously at 
tacked by various critics. Nothing but "the demonstration of 
hard facts" will clear the issue. Who is right, Luke or his 
modern critics? Enough has been discovered to test Luke s 
accuracy in crucial and important points, in the very points 
where he has been attacked. Meanwhile, we shall assume that 
Luke has made a careful use of his material and is entitled to 
make his confident claim to Theophilus. He aims to give a 
record of the truth in both Gospel and Acts. 1 

9. The Stamp of Luke s Personality. Luke was no mere 
chronicler of dry details. He was not a scrap-book historian 
who simply spliced together documents. He used literary 
sources as every real historian must. They influenced his 
style, in certain parts more than in others, but he put his own 
stamp upon all the material that he incorporated. Luke, un 
like Shakespeare, reveals his personality in the Gospel and the 
Acts. "Carlyle could not write another man s biography 
without writing his autobiography between the lines. No 
more could Luke." 2 Hence we can rejoice all the more that 
Luke felt impelled ("it seemed good to me also") to write. 
"It was such a book as a lover of men could write for a lover 
of God." 3 But it is the self-revelation of a soul that was 
humble and Christ-like. "There are times when one wishes 
that he had never read the New Testament Scriptures that 
he might some day open the Gospel according to Luke, and the 
most beautiful book in the world might come upon his soul 
like sunrise." 4 

He was called a painter by the ancients. Plummer 5 traces 
it to the sixth century to Theodorus Lector, reader in the 
Church in Constantinople. He states that the Empress 

1 Rackham, Acts, p. xxxvii. 

2 Hayes, The Synoptic Gospels and Acts, p. 265. 

4 Ian Maclaren. 6 Comm., p. xxii. 


Eudoxia found at Jerusalem a picture of Mary the mother of 
Jesus, painted by Luke. There is, at least, this much of truth 
in the legend. Luke has exerted a profound influence upon 
Christian art by his lifelike portrayals of character in the 
Gospel and the Acts. He painted with his pen, if not with 
his brush. His pictures are drawn to the life and glow with 

It is interesting to note that all the early writers assign the 
ox or calf to Luke, though differing greatly concerning the 
other three symbolical figures for the other Gospels (the man, 
the lion, the eagle). It is probable that Luke s Gospel was 
so called 1 because it is the Gospel of propitiation, of sacrifice. 
The priesthood of Christ comes to the fore in the Gospel of 
Luke and Jesus is pictured with the priestly attributes of sym 
pathy, compassion and mercy. 2 

The most astonishing trait in Luke s style is his versatility. 
He is not only the most versatile writer in the New Testament, 
but one of the most versatile of all historians. "He can be 
as Hebraistic as the Septuagint, and as far from Hebraisms as 
Plutarch." 3 Certainly he is Hebraistic because of his Ara 
maic sources in Luke 1 and 2 and Acts 1-5, but it is at least 
open to one to think "that he has here allowed his style to be 
Hebraistic because he felt that such a style was appropriate 
to his subject-matter." 4 The contrast is sharpest in Luke 
1 : 1-4 and the rest of chapter 1 and all of 2, but we see it also 
in the Acts. Moffatt 5 sees "the literary finish of the third 
Gospel" in the careful rhythm of the prologue, his versatility 
in using the "archaic semi-Biblical style" and in "leaving the 
rough translation of an Aramaic source practically unchanged 
for the sake of effect." But the unity of Luke s style is pre 
served throughout both Gospel and Acts in his characteristic 
freedom of expression and in the range of his vocabulary. 6 
Luke exhibits the science of the trained student and the skill 
of the artist in giving "an harmonious picture" 7 by the use of 
varied material. "St. Luke exhibits constant proof of his 
Greek origin in the substitution of more cultured terms for the 

2 Luckock, Special Characteristics of the Four Gospels, pp. 166-181. 
3 Plummer, Comm., p. xlix. 4 Ibid. 

5 Intr. to the Lit. of the N. T., p. 278. 6 Ibid., p. 279. 

7 Milligan, N. T. Documents, p. 151. 


colloquialisms of the other synoptists, while his treatment of 
Q is marked by various stylistic alterations." 1 In a number of 
passages in the Gospel and the Acts "the phraseology seems 
to be purposely varied for no other reason than that of impart 
ing a certain literary elegance to the narrative." 2 Luke em 
ploys some 750 words in the Gospel and Acts not found else 
where in the New Testament. Some of these are due to the 
medical terminology of Luke and some to the nautical terms 
in Acts 27. A few occur nowhere else, so far as known. Nor- 
den 3 and Blass 4 see Atticistic influence in Luke s style, but this 
is not necessary. Certainly he has a fine command of the 
literary Koine as well as of the vernacular. 5 He is fluent, but 
not prolix. His style reveals the same finish that we saw in 
his research. 

Hayes 6 describes Luke as a musician because he is the first 
great Christian hymnologist. He has preserved the psalms of 
praise from Elizabeth, Mary, Zacharias, the angels and Simeon. 
We do not have to think that Luke composed these noble 
songs of praise and prayer. But he alone has preserved them 
because he had a soul for music and for poetry. 

Carpenter 7 has a chapter on "S. Luke the Artist." By this 
expression he means that he was "a master of style." Style 
is difficult of definition. Style is the man, to be sure, but 
style varies with the subject, and style varies with one s age. 
Stalker says that style is shaped by full knowledge of the sub 
ject. Certainly Luke s "supreme delineation of the Saviour 
of the world" rests primarily on fulness of knowledge on the 
part of the man of culture whose heart is loyal to Jesus as 
Lord. There are abundant proofs of Luke s artistic skill. 
He has touches that would please cultured Gentiles like "the 
good and honest heart" in 8:15. 8 Carpenter 9 suggests that 
Luke s fondness for "table-talk" (Luke 7:36f.; 11:37!.; 
14 : 1 f .) may be due to his knowledge of the symposia of Greek 

1 Ibid., p. 149. 2 Milligan, N. T. Documents. 

3 Kunstprosa, II, pp. 485 ff . 

4 Die Rhythmen der asianischen und romischen Kunstprosa, p. 42. 

5 Robertson, Grammar of the Greek N. T., p. 122. 

6 Synoptic Gospels and Acts, pp. 188 f. 

7 Christianity According to S. Luke, pp. 189-202. 

8 xap8(<jc xaXfi xal dcfa6f). Plato and other Greek writers use xaXbq 
as the equivalent of "gentleman." Carpenter, op. cit., p. 190. 

p. 191. 


literature. Luke knows how to make a cumulative effect by 
contrast as in parables in rapid succession in chapters 14-18. 
Carpenter 1 shows that Luke is "a master of tragic irony." He 
knows how to make the climax tell by saying just enough and 
no more. The intellectual surprise is complete and abiding. 
The story of the two disciples going to Emmaus in Luke 24 
is the most beautiful story in all the world. It is told with 
consummate skill. Luke can depict a situation with supreme 

As a painter of short portraits Luke also excels. He has 
drawn the pictures of Jesus, Peter and Paul on large canvas 
with the master s hand. Luke has made his story vivid both 
in the Gospel and the Acts by the use of the power of person 
ality. He understood the true principle of dealing with so 
vast a subject. He found the secret in personality. 2 "His 
short pen pictures of Zacharias, the Virgin Mother, Martha 
and Mary, Zacchseus, and the repentant robber are masterly." 3 

But, scholar as Luke is, he is also a mystic of the true kind. 
" Strange and unexpected touches occur in Luke s narrative, 
corresponding to the astonishing and inexplicable psychological 
experiences of ordinary life." 4 The proofs are many. "They 
yet believed not for joy" (Luke 24:41). "What a natural 
touch that was ! They believed it, and yet it was too good to 
be true." 5 Carpenter 6 devotes a whole chapter to "S. Luke 
the Psychologist." It is not only fine workmanship that Luke 
gives us. He exhibits insight into human nature. He knows 
also the ways of God s Spirit with man. Carpenter 7 quotes a 
theologian who said to him that Luke was the Evangelist that 
he should like most to meet. "S. John was a saint, but I 
think I know the kind of thing that he would say to me. But 
S. Luke is different. He was not a saint. He was a psycholo 
gist. I should like to meet him." Loisy 8 finds the chief charm 
of Luke in "a certain psychological note, a profound sense of 
the things of the soul." So Luke is a psychologist among the 
saints for the benefit of the saints. 

1 Ibid., p. 194. 2 Rackham, Acts, p. xl. 

3 Carpenter, Christianity according to S. Luke, p. 195. 

4 Hayes, Synoptic Gospels and Acts, p. 225. 

5 Ibid. 6 Op. cit., pp. 177-188. 

7 Op. cit., p. 177. 

8 Les fivangiks Synoptiques, I, p. 260. 


He is certainly a lover of mankind who fell in love with 
Jesus. "From being interested in the singular case of one 
Paul, a travelling sophist, whose restless zeal begins to play 
havoc with the constitution, he passed to the consideration of 
one Jesus, who was dead, whom Paul affirmed to be alive 
(Acts 25 : 19)." l He had the devotion to Jesus that Plutarch 
calls pietas, when a biographer loves his subject. Luke was 
not a formal theologian, but he had the sense of mystery in 
the presence of Christ s overwhelming personality. Chester 
ton 2 says: "Christ had even a literary style of his own, not to 
be found, I think, elsewhere; it consists in an almost furious 
use of the a fortiori. His how much more is piled one upon 
another like castle upon castle in the clouds." Carpenter 3 
notes that in the use of this figure Luke s Gospel is in affinity 
with the Epistle to the Hebrews. 

Carpenter 4 observes also how Luke understood the loneliness 
of Jesus. "One of the penalties of greatness is loneliness. 
The great artist is, perhaps, never understood by his contem 
poraries. The consummate Artist has twelve pupils, but they 
do not understand him. And the Evangelist, himself an artist, 
has not failed to indicate this in his picture. One of the chief 
impressions taken from the Gospel is that Our Lord lived 
alone." As one instance, note that " it came to pass as he was 
praying by himself" (Luke 9 : 18). Carpenter 5 does not claim 
that Luke "understood all the pathos and the glory of Our 
Lord s life, that he was fully sensitive to the whole wonder of 
its sweetness and its tragedy and its triumphs," but in Luke 
we learn how Jesus "experienced in the days of His flesh some 
thing of that which may be called, perhaps unworthily and 
foolishly, but not altogether inexcusably, the loneliness of 
God." 6 The humanity of Jesus in Luke is not the deity of 
humanity so much as the humanity of deity. 

1 Carpenter, Op. dt. } p. 178. 2 Orthodoxy, p. 269. 

3 Op. tit., p. 184. 4 Ibid ., p. 186. 

* Op. at., p. 187. Ibid., p. 188. 


"Even as they delivered them unto us" (Luke 1:2). 

Luke tells us frankly that he used sources of information in 
writing his Gospel which were of two kinds, oral and written. 
It is possible to tell in a broad way some of these sources and 
how he used them. 

1. Assimilation rather than Quotation. This was the method 
of the ancients. It is a fine exercise to read First Maccabees 
in the translation Greek in which we have it, an evident trans 
lation from a Hebrew or Aramaic original, and then turn to 
the corresponding passage of the Antiquities of Josephus where 
the same ground is covered as in the story of Judas Macca 
beus. It is perfectly manifest that Josephus has followed the 
narrative of First Maccabees. He has written his account in 
flowing, idiomatic Greek of the literary Koine, at times really 
Atticistic in conscious imitation of the Attic literary models. 
He has avoided the frequent Hebraisms in First Maccabees, 
but has used the material freely and faithfully, without any 
mention of his source. That is his usual practice. Occasion 
ally Josephus does allude to some of the writers whom he con 
sulted, but there is little formal quotation. Josephus did not 
consider himself a copyist, but a historian, and used his data 
with freedom. 

Luke employed the literary devices of men of his age. "In 
using his materials Luke s methods are in the main those of 
other writers of the same period. They are quite unlike those 
of modern writers. A writer of the present day seeks to tell 
his story in his own words and in his own way, giving refer 
ences to, and, if necessary, quotations from, his sources, but 
carefully avoiding all confusion between traditional fact and 
critical inference, and certainly never altering the direct state 
ment of the earlier document without expressly mentioning 
the fact. The method of antiquity was, as a rule, almost the 
reverse. The author of a book based on earlier materials 



strung together a series of extracts into a more or less coherent 
whole, giving no indication of his sources, and modifying them 
freely in order to harmonize them." In this paragraph Lake 1 
has given a fair statement of ancient usage. There was no 
idea of plagiarizing in failing to give credit. It was simply a 
different literary habit. Lake thinks that it is "obviously 
inferior to modern procedure," but he agrees that Luke used 
it well. That is putting it mildly when critics treat the Gos 
pel as a work of consummate literary skill. And yet Luke 
does make quotations from the Old Testament, though nothing 
like so frequently or so formally as Matthew s Gospel. There 
were regular formulas for scriptural quotations, but these were 
not always employed. The early Christian writers, as J. Ren- 
del Harris 2 shows, were fond of quoting Testimonia or strings 
of quotations like what Paul has in Romans 3. 

And yet Luke was not a slavish copyist. The stamp of his 
own personality is on all his work. Sanday 3 has some wise and 
true words on the folly of complaining at the Gospels for free 
dom in the use of their sources: "The Evangelists thought of 
themselves not merely as copyists but as historians. They are 
not unconscious of a certain dignity in their calling. They are 
something more than scribes tied down to the text which they 
have before them. They considered themselves entitled to 
reproduce it freely and not slavishly. They do not hesitate to 
tell the story over again in their own words." Luke does not 
hesitate to use what others have written, if it suits his purpose, 
but he does not confine himself to any one source. He is writ 
ing his own book. His Gospel is more elaborate than the other 
Gospels. "Accordingly, there is perhaps in his case a little 
more of the blending or fusion of different authorities. He has 
a somewhat higher ambition in the matter of style. In a 
word, he approximates rather more nearly to the ancient sec 
ular historian." 4 " It was very much their (secular historians ) 
ideals which guided his hand." 5 But, with all the freedom in 
the use of their sources, it is amazing how much alike the pic 
ture of Jesus is in all the Synoptic Gospels. "Verse after verse, 
saying after saying, might be quoted to you from the three 

1 Art. "Luke," Hastings s Diet, of Ap. Church, pp. 771 f. 

2 Various articles in The Expositor 

3 Oxford Studies in the Synoptic Problem, p. 12. 

4 Oxford Studies in the Synoptic Problem, p. 13. 6 Ibid., p. 14. 


Synoptic Gospels, and, unless you happened to have special 
knowledge or had given special attention to such matters, you 
would be unable to say to which Gospel they really belonged." l 

Sanday 2 reminds us that the physical difficulties in the way 
of quoting books played a large part in their literary method. 
The ancients used tables for eating, not for writing, and for 
paying out money. They had desks, "but they were not like 
our desks, on a writing-table. They were quite small, like the 
reading-desks that we attach to the arm of an armchair. As 
a rule they are affixed to a raised stand, which is independent 
of other furniture." One can easily see that the roll was not 
a convenient form for a book or for such a little desk. The 
pictures of early writers, as of Virgil, 3 represent one as sitting 
with the open roll on his knees and the desk at his side. The 
ancient writer had great difficulty in keeping one roll open 
from which he was copying, and the other open on which he 
was writing. There would be the constant tendency to trust 
one s memory, as in oral transmission, though the habits of 
writers would vary. 

Luke s habit was to give a series of separate pictures with 
local color. He individualized the separate incidents and gave 
"editorial notes," as A. Wright calls them, that gave the fin 
ishing touches to the story. 

We must remember, moreover, that we do not know all the 
sources that Luke employed nor his precise method in the use 
of all of them. 

2. Primitive Semitic Sources. Where did Luke get his infor 
mation for 1 : 5-2 : 52 of his Gospel ? Wellhausen drops this 
portion from his edition of Luke s Gospel as not worthy of 
consideration by the modern historian. At once, therefore, 
we see Luke put on the defensive in the use of his sources, 
when he finishes his prologue. The instant change in his style 
shows that he is using Semitic material unless he is inventing 
the whole story of the infancy narratives, and by supreme 
literary skill is giving them a Semitic flavor to create the im 
pression of their genuineness. It is possible to think that 
Luke has been influenced by reading the Septuagint, and that 
there may be intentional imitation by Luke, though a Greek. 

1 Burkitt, The Gospel History and Its Transmission, p. 216. 

2 Oxford Studies in the Synoptic Problem, pp. 16 ff. 

3 Birt, Die Buchrolle in der Kunst, p. 178. 


But, if so, why did he not keep the Aramaic or Hebrew color 
ing throughout? There are scattered Hebraisms in the Gos 
pel, but not to the extent that we see them in Chapters I and 
II. Allen 1 is confident that "conscious imitation of the Sep- 
tuagint will quite adequately account for" these Hebraisms. 
Dalman 2 thinks that Luke "does not shrink from using those 
Hebraisms which are most foreign to the feeling of the Greek 
language." Bartlet 3 holds that " he consciously writes his 
Gospel on the lines of the Greek Bible." Probably so, but 
one can hardly think of so careful and faithful a writer as 
Luke consciously using Hebraisms to give a sacred flavor to 
his narrative. To me Luke seems quite incapable of such a 
literary artifice. Least of all can one think of the Greek Luke 
inventing the hymns of Mary and of Zacharias. 

If Luke "is a historian of the first rank" and worthy of 
being "placed along with the very greatest historians," as 
Ramsay 4 argues, then he meets a severe test at once in these 
opening chapters. He has just claimed that his narrative is 
trustworthy and reliable in its use of the sources. The very 
first instance that we have is the story of the infancy. Cer 
tainly Luke means his report of the birth of Jesus to be taken 
seriously. 5 We have seen already that "Luke did not rest 
his narrative on unsifted traditions." 6 We cannot except the 
opening chapters from this statement. Indeed, "the author 
must have regarded this part of his work with special interest, 
and been impelled to work it up with peculiar care, on account 
of the authority on which it rested." 7 It is urged by some 
that this section was a later addition, because Marcion omits 
Chapters 1-4 from his edition of Luke, but the Lukan char 
acteristics are in these early chapters. Wright 8 holds that 

1 "Aramaic Background of the Gospels" (Oxford Studies in the Synoptic 
Problem, p. 293). 

2 The Words of Jesus, p. 83. 

1 "Sources of St. Luke s Gospel" (Oxford Studies in the Synoptic Problem, 
p. 317). Aramaisms in Luke s style here are seen in such constructions 
as <*<M<;, fofcrro, $9u<;, the use of ec;j.( with the participle, while genuine 
Hebraisms appear in Iv TO> and the infinitive, xcrt iflwco, dcxoxptOsl? elxev, 
!xi0u^(<jc IxeOujjiiqaa. Cf . Dalman, Words of Jesus, pp. 17 fit. 

4 Bearing of Recent Discovery, p. 222. 

5 Ramsay, Was Christ Born at Bethlehem ?, p. 73. 

6 Moffatt, Intr. to Lit. of N. T., p. 263. 

7 Ramsay. Was Christ Born at Bethlehem ?, p. 73. 

8 Gospel According to St. Luke in Gk., pp. viii f. 


Luke wrote it, but added it last to the book. We have noted 
that it is unlikely that Luke would have written a free com 
position in archaic style. 

The remaining hypothesis is that Luke used Semitic sources 
for the infancy narrative. It is not certain whether Luke s 
authority here was oral or written, Hebrew or Aramaic. Plum- 
mer (Comm., p. xxiii) thinks that "we need not doubt the first 
two Chapters are made up of written narratives, of which we 
can see the conclusions at 1 : 80, 2 : 40 and 2 : 52." It is 
argued that Luke had a written source in original Hebrew. 1 
Dalman 2 holds that a Greek like Luke could not have known 
Aramaic. But that is not certain. There is no real reason 
why Luke could not know enough Aramaic to translate it 
himself. 3 There are some traces of an Aramaic original. 

But Ramsay argues at great length that the Aramaic source 
was oral and not written, and that Mary herself was that 
source, either directly or indirectly. The story "is an episode 
of family history of the most private character." 4 Sanday 5 
thinks that Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod s steward, was 
probably Mary s confidante, and told Luke the wonderful 
story. We may take it as certain that Luke did not record 
" the narrative of the birth and childhood of Christ from mere 
current talk and general belief: he had it in a form for which 
Mary herself was in his opinion the responsible authority." 6 
The story is told from the standpoint of Mary, as in Matthew 
the birth of Jesus is given from the standpoint of Joseph. 
Luke himself says that Mary "kept all these sayings hid in 
her heart" (2 : 19), and once more he states that "Mary kept 
all these sayings, pondering them in her heart" (2 : 21). "The 
historian, by emphasizing the silence and secrecy in which she 
treasured up the facts, gives the reader to understand that 
she is the authority." 7 With this judgment Harnack 8 agrees: 
"Indeed, from 2 : 19, 51 it follows that the stories are intended 
to be regarded in the last instance from Mary herself." "His 

1 "Aramaic Background of the Gospels" (Oxford Studies in the Synoptic 
Problem, p. 292). 

2 Words of Jesus, pp. 38 f . 

3 Moffatt, Intr. to Lit. of N. T., p. 267. 

4 Was Christ Born at Bethlehem ?, p. 74. 

5 Expository Times, XIV, p. 299. 

6 Ramsay, op. cit., p. 80. 7 Ramsay, op. cit., p. 75. 
8 Date of the Acts and the Synoptic Gospels, p. 155. 


practice elsewhere as an historian proves that he could not 
have himself invented a fiction like this." l The physician is 
brought into close relation with the inner life of women, who 
will reveal to him what they would shrink from mentioning to 
other men. There is no known reason why Luke could not 
have seen Mary herself if she was still living. Certainly the 
current oral Gospel (see Mark) would not contain the birth 
narrative. The delicate tact and restraint with which Luke 
gives the story add to the impression of genuineness and 
remove the narrative entirely from the mythological stories of 
the gods and goddesses of Babylon and Greece. 2 

The story of John s birth was matter of common talk (Luke 
1 : 65 f.). It is not hard to understand how Luke could get 
the data for his narrative. It may have come from the circle 
of the disciples of John. 3 Luke presents John as the forerun 
ner and the inferior of Jesus. 4 

The genealogy in Luke 2 : 23-38 would come, of course, 
"from some legal or tribal or temple document." 5 

There is every reason to conclude that Luke had solid ground 
for his narrative in the early chapters of his Gospel. 

3. Mark s Gospel. It is now practically demonstrated that 
Luke and Matthew made use of the Gospel of Mark. One can 
test this for himself, even in the English translation, by a use 
of a harmony of the Gospels. Thus we are able to test Luke s 
literary method. If one reads Mark 2:9-11 and then Matt. 
9 : 5-6 and Luke 5 : 23-24, it is obvious that both Matthew 
and Luke had Mark s text before them, for both preserve the 
parenthetical clause ("He saith to the paralytic," "Then saith 
he to the paralytic," "He said to the paralyzed man") and 
both follow Mark in placing the clause at the same place in 
the midst of a saying of Jesus. The oral theory will not ex 
plain a case like this. Both Matthew and Luke had a docu 
ment before them. That document is our Mark. It is not 
absolutely certain that Matthew and Luke had Mark s Gospel 
in precisely the form in which we have it, or in the same form 
for each. Holdsworth 6 suggests that Mark edited three edi- 

1 Ibid. 2 Harnack, op. tit., p. 156. 3 Ibid., p. 154. 

4 Cf . Wilkinson, A Johannine Document in the First Chapter of S. Luke s 
Gospel (1902). 

6 Hayes, Synoptic Gospels and Acts, p. 199. 
6 Gospel Origins, pp. 109-129. 


tions of his Gospel. The first form was used by Luke, the 
second by Matthew, and the third is our canonical Mark. 
Stanton 1 follows the same line of argument. N. P. Williams 2 
thinks that Mark s earlier edition omitted Chapter XIII, and 
the so-called great interpolation (Mark 6:45-8:26). But, 
apart from this, Williams will have no "Ur-Marcus" after the 
theory of Wendling. 3 Sanday 4 sees no necessity of either an 
"Ur-Marcus" or of a threefold edition of Mark s Gospel. He 
calls attention to the fact that Luke did not have to make a 
slavish use of Mark or of any of his sources. He felt free to 
make minor variations at will. There were probably varia 
tions in the text of Mark as used by Matthew and Luke. 
M. Jones 5 is inclined to agree with Sanday. Hawkins 6 thinks 
that a later edition may have added a few details, but sees no 
need of an appeal to various editions. Swete sees no cause for 
such editions, but is willing to consider some editorial revision. 7 
It is clear that Luke had Mark before him and practically in 
the form in which we possess it to-day. 8 We know that Luke 
was with Mark in Rome about A. D. 63 (Col. 4 : 10; Phile 
mon 24). 

Mark is one, but only one, of Luke s sources. Luke follows 
Mark s general order of events, especially in the first part of 
the Gospel. One needs a deal of common sense in matters of 
criticism to avoid one-sided and erroneous conclusions. Rather 
more than half of Luke s material is now found in his Gospel 
alone. 9 The rest is divided between what Mark has and the 
non-Markan matter common to Luke and Matthew. But in 
a broad view of the material about two-thirds of Luke s Gospel 
follows the track of Mark, while three-fourths of Matthew s 
Gospel uses Mark s Gospel as a framework. 10 Apart from a 
few transpositions, Matthew and Luke do not desert Mark s 

1 The Gospels as Historical Documents, part II, p. 203. 

2 Oxford Studies, p. 421. 

3 Urmarcus (1905); Die Entstehung des Marcusevangeliums (1908). 

4 Oxford Studies, pp. 11-22. See also my Studies in Mark s Gospel, 
pp. 14 f . 

6 N. T. in the Twentieth Century, p. 203. 

6 Horce Synopticce, p. 152. 

7 Commentary, p. lix. 8 Plummer, Comm., p. xxiii. 
9 Bebb, art. "Luke," in Hastings s D. B. 

"Hawkins, "Three Limitations to St. Luke s Use of St. Mark s Gospel" 
(Oxford Studies, p. 29). 


order, except in Matt. 7 : 13 and Luke 9 : 51-18 : 14. Luke 
uses three-fourths of Mark s Gospel, but Luke does not always 
follow Mark in matters of detail. Sometimes Matthew repro 
duces Mark, where Luke takes another turn. Harnack 1 thinks 
that Luke is somewhat prejudiced against Mark and "wrote 
his Gospel in order to supplant Mark." I doubt that, but it is 
remarkable that Mark has survived, since Matthew and Luke 
incorporated nearly all of Mark, all but some fifty verses. 

Mark s Gospel has the vivid touches of Peter s picturesque 
portrayal which gives the lifelike coloring of an eye-witness. 2 
Luke cares less for these delicate nuances and has dropped 
Mark s "green grass" and "flower-beds" (Mark 6 : 39 f.; Luke 
9 : 14 f.). Luke has a more polished style and smoothes out 
apparent roughnesses or lack of exactness in Mark. In Mark 

1 : 4 we have the picture of digging through 3 the roof of a Pal 
estinian hut, and the picture describes what actually occurred. 
Luke (5 : 19) seems rather to have the picture of a Roman 
house with a tile roof. 4 Carpenter 5 thinks that nearly all of 
the changes and omissions in Luke can be explained. Both 
Matthew and Luke largely avoid Mark s frequent use of the 
historical present. There are a few other instances, probably 
due to textual variations, in which Matthew and Luke agree 
against Mark, but they are unimportant. 6 

It seems unlikely that Luke made any use of Mark at all for 

2 : 51-18 : 14. Here, as we shall see, Luke had other sources. 
But Luke did not use Mark 6 : 45-8 : 26, what is termed the 
great omission. It is not clear why Luke made no use of this 
portion of Mark. It may have been accidental, but it is more 
likely intentional on Luke s part, because he had so much 
other matter which he desired to use. 7 Hawkins 8 thinks that 
the material -was such that Luke would not be indisposed to 

1 Luke the Physician , p. 158. 

2 Robertson, Studies in Mark s Gospel, eh. IV. 3 l^opu^cevTe?. 
4 Sco: TUV xspdfjLwv. Cf. Ramsay, Luke the Physician, p. 46. 

6 Christianity According to S. Luke, p. 130. Cadbury (The Treatment of 
Sources in the Gospel, p. 96) thinks that in some instances Luke misunder 
stood Mark. 

6 Hawkins, Horce Synopticce, pp. 201 f.; Carpenter, op. cit., pp. 130 f. 
In Luke 5 : 19 Klostermann (Handbuch zum N. T., 1919, in loco) calls xaOf 
" lukanisch " for 

7 See Hawkins, "The Great Omission" (Oxford Studies, pp. 60-74) 

8 Op. cit. t p. 74. 


pass it by. Holdsworth, Williams, and Wright say that Luke s 
edition of Mark did not contain this section. 

In the Passion narrative (Luke 22 : 14-24 : 10) Luke follows 
Mark, but with more freedom than elsewhere, and apparently 
with other sources at hand. Hawkins 1 has a thorough discus 
sion of the subject and seems to prove the point. In Luke 
22 : 15-22 reference to the betrayal by Judas comes after the 
supper, and there are two cups in Luke s account of the sup 
per. What other source or sources did Luke possess? It is 
clear that he had at least one other document, besides oral 
witnesses, almost certainly two, and possibly more. He used 
Mark in common with Matthew. Did Matthew and Luke 
have any other document that both show signs of using? 

4. The Logia (Q). About one-sixth of Luke s Gospel agrees 
with Matthew s Gospel in non-Markan material. Whence did 
they get it? This matter consists mainly of sayings of Jesus. 
Hence, it is supposed that there was a collection of such say 
ings, called Logia of Jesus. Indeed, we know that such was 
the case, for scraps of such collections have been found in the 
papyri of Egypt. 2 Besides, Papias 3 expressly says that "Mat 
thew composed the oracles 4 in the Hebrew 5 language, and each 
man interpreted them as he was able." To what does Papias, 
as quoted by Eusebius, refer ? It is hard to think that Papias 
is describing our present Gospel of Matthew, which does not 
seem to be a translation from Aramaic or Hebrew. 6 True, the 
term "oracles" need not be confined to discourses, though that 
is the natural way to take it. "One or two critics suppose it 
to be the Gospel according to the Hebrews. Professor Burkitt 
and some others believe it to have been a collection of Testi- 
monia or Messianic proof-texts from the Old Testament. But 
the most probable view is that which identifies the Logia with 
Q." 7 Now what is Q? Q stands for the German word for 
source (Quelle) and simply acts as a symbol for the non- 

1 Op. tit., pp. 76-95. 

2 Lock and Sanday, Two Lectures on the Oxyrhynchus Sayings of Jesus 
(1889); Taylor, The Oxyrhynchus Logia (1899); Taylor, The Oxyrhynchus 
Sayings of Jesus (1905). 

3 Eusebius, Hist. EccL, III, 39. 4 -ci X6yta. 
6 Probably Aramaic, as in Paul s case (Acts 22 : 2). 

6 See Introduction to my Comm. on Matt. (Bible for Home and School) for 

7 Carpenter, Christianity According to S. Luke, p. 140. 


Markan matter common to both Matthew and Luke. It is 
not hard to see what this material is. Hawkins 1 gives a care 
ful list of the passages where Matthew and Luke agree in the 
use of the non-Markan matter. Harnack 2 gives the Greek 
text of these passages with critical notes and appraisement. 
It is possible, even probable, that Matthew himself wrote this 
collection of Logia which critics call Q. 3 But Q is used to 
avoid begging the question on that subject. 4 Only the use of 
Q must not be allowed to prejudice one against the idea that 
Matthew did write it. 5 The use of so many parallel passages 
of considerable length seems to prove a common written source. 6 
It would be possible 7 to explain these passages on the theory 
that Luke made use of our present Gospel of Matthew but for 
the great divergence between Luke and Matthew in the birth 
narrative, the genealogy and various matters of detail. It is 
not necessary to decide here whether Matthew himself wrote 
in Greek the present Gospel of his name, as is quite possible, 
as well as the Logia (Aramaic or Greek or both). What is cer 
tain is that Luke had access to the same source for this material 
that our present Matthew had. 8 Streeter 9 thinks that "had 
Matthew written, it would have been a book like this." The 
hope has been expressed that a copy of Q may yet be found, 
but Carpenter 10 considers it "exceedingly unlikely." J. H. 
Moulton 11 has pointed out that "in no soil outside of Egypt 
could a papyrus copy of Q have lain hid and yet safe from 
inevitable decay." It may be thought possible that such a 
copy was made and taken to Egypt. 

As to the date of Q, it is clear that it is earlier than Mark. 
Streeter 12 makes a good case for the view that Mark knew and 
made some use of Q. Certainly Q is older than Mark. " Noth 
ing prevents it from being assigned to the year fifty, or even 

1 HorcB Synopticce, pp. 107-113. 2 Sayings of Jesus (1908). 

8 Harnack, ibid., p. 249. 

4 Robinson, Study of the Gospels, pp. 69 f . 

5 Hawkins, op. cit., p. 107. 6 Ibid., p. 66. 

7 As Holtzmann, Simons, Wendt and others do in fact. 

8 B. Weiss, Intr. to the Lit. of N. T., II, p. 294. 

9 Oxford Studies, p. 216. 

10 Christianity According to S. Luke, p. 141, n. 3. 

11 Expositor, July, 1917, p. 17. 

12 Oxford Studies, pp. 165-183. 


earlier." l Streeter 2 adds: "If our characterization of Q above 
is correct, it was probably written twenty years before Mark, 
and might well have reached Rome before him." Ramsay 3 
thinks that Q was written down during the life of Jesus and did 
not include the account of the death and resurrection of Jesus. 
Ramsay 4 has developed this contention with great plausibility 
that Q is "a document practically contemporary with the 
facts, and it registered the impressions made on eye-witnesses 
of the words and acts of Christ" (p. 89). Streeter 5 suggests 
that Mark wrote to supplement Q as Luke wrote to supplement 
both Q and Mark. He makes much of the point that Q is 
close to the living oral tradition. "At that period and in that 
non-literary society of Palestine only that was written down 
which one would be likely to forget." 6 All this would suit the 
idea that Matthew, the publican, took down notes of the say 
ings of Jesus, if necessary in shorthand, which was in common 
use at that time. Allen 7 agrees with Ramsay that Harnack s 
notion of Q forbids its circulation in the early years of Chris 
tian history, and holds, at any rate, that Harnack abbreviates 
Q too much. But Harnack only presents a minimum. 

As to the original extent of Q, Streeter 8 shows it was almost 
certainly larger than the non-Markan material common to 
Luke and Matthew. But Matthew and Luke differ in their 
use of Mark. The common Markan material amounts to 
only two-thirds of our Mark. Each uses portions of Mark not 
used by the other. Precisely this situation probably exists as 
to Q. If so, we must greatly enlarge our idea of the extent 
of Q. Besides, Hawkins 9 shows that Matthew and Luke put 
three-fourths of Q, as used by them, in different places. It 
must be still further admitted that Q may have contained mat 
ter not used by either Matthew or Luke. 

Streeter 10 thinks it possible that Matthew and Luke had dif 
ferent editions of Q. Bartlet n takes up this idea and carries it 
still further. He holds that, when Luke got hold of Q, it had 

1 Harnack, Date of the Acts and the Synoptic Gospels, p. 125, n. 1. 

2 Oxjord Studies, p. 219. 3 Expositor, May, 1907. 

4 "The Oldest Written Gospel" (Luke the Physician, pp. 71-101). So 
Salmon, The Human Element in the Gospels, p. 274. 

5 Oxford Studies, p. 219. 6 Oxford Studies, p. 215. 
7 Ibid., p. 239. 8 Ibid., p. 185. 

9 Oxford Studies, p. 120. 10 Ibid., p. 205. 

11 "The Sources of St. Luke s Gospel" (Oxford Studies, pp. 313-363). 


already been combined with another special source, so that 
Bartlet can talk of QM, QMk, QL. Stanton 1 agrees with 
Bartlet in this view of Luke s special source. This is a special 
two-document theory for Luke. The commonly accepted two- 
document hypothesis is that both Matthew and Luke used 
Mark and Q. Both Matthew and Luke had, of course, other 
sources of information, but these two explain most of what we 
find in them. Sanday 2 assumes this " Two-Document Hypoth 
esis" and cannot follow Bartlet in his special interpretation. 3 

Before we proceed to the discussion of Luke s special sources 
it is pertinent to inquire what view of Christ is given in Q. 
Harnack 4 discusses "the Personality of Our Lord" in Q and 
seeks to give a depreciated view of Christ in our oldest known 
Gospel record. But the facts do not justify this interpreta 
tion, as I have shown in The Contemporary Review* in an article 
on "The Christ of the Logia." The Christ of Q is in essence 
the Christ of Mark, of Matthew, of Luke, of Paul, of John. The 
earliest known picture of Christ is drawn on the same scale 
and plan as the latest. Jesus of Nazareth is pictured in Q as 
the Son of God as well as the Son of Man. 

5. Other Sources of Information. It is plain that Luke had 
special sources of knowledge beyond Mark and Q and beyond 
the infancy narrative. Bartlet would make his second source 
cover practically the whole of what Luke gives us, parallel 
even with Mark s narrative. 6 But that theory is not likely to 
win a foothold. Bartlet thinks that Luke s second source 
came to him in oral form and was first written down by him. 
It is not surprising that we are not able to find all of Luke 
in Mark and Q, though we must admit that some of what we 
discuss at this point may well have been in Q. It is worth 
saying that Luke probably had sources that can never be 
traced. He said that he had "many," both oral and written. 
The facts seem to justify his statement. Kirsopp Lake 7 holds 
that Luke used only Mark, Q, the LXX and possibly Josephus. 
But our failure to find all of Luke s sources does not of neces 
sity limit his resources. The misfortune is ours, not Luke s. 

1 Gospels as Historical Documents, II, pp. 239 f . 

2 Oxford Studies, p. 2. 3 Ibid ., pp. xx f . 

4 The Sayings of Jesus, pp. 233-246. 

5 August, 1919. 6 Oxford Studies, p. 323. 
7 Hastings s Diet, of the Ap. Church. 


The "Two-Document Hypothesis" does not undertake to 
refer all of Luke s Gospel to Mark and Q. There is a large 
residuum outside, or apparently outside, for we are bound to 
note that we do not know the limits of Q. Luke 9 : 51-18 : 14 
is generally called the Great Interpolation, because in this sec 
tion Luke fails to follow the Markan material. Hawkins 1 
terms it "the Disuse of the Markan Source/* Burton 2 calls it 
"the Persean Document." But Streeter 3 objects to this desig 
nation and notes that of the block 9 : 51-12 : 59, "nearly four- 
fifths, as occurring also in Matthew, is verifiably Q, as in the 
case, also, with all but a few verses of 13 : 18-35." Certainly, 
then, a large part of the so-called Great Interpolation comes 
from Q. It is in this section that many of the "doublets" in 
Luke s Gospel occur. Sanday 4 urges strongly that "allowance 
should, however, be made for the possibility of what may be 
called real doublets as well as literary doublets. I believe that 
similar sayings were spoken by Our Lord more than once." 
This is certainly true, as every popular preacher or teacher 
knows in his own experience. Repetition is not only common 
with the public speakers to different audiences in different 
localities, but to the same audience, if one is to be understood. 
Not only may one use similar sayings, but he must repeat the 
same sayings to drive the point home. Those critics forget 
this fact who insist that Luke has here dumped together a 
mass of material that he did not know what else to do with, 
material that really belongs elsewhere, as we see from Matthew. 
But such criticism forgets, also, Luke s express claim to an 
orderly discussion. It is just as easy to think of repetition of 
similar incidents and like sayings in the life of Jesus. It is 
precisely in the Great Interpolation that the great parables in 
Luke occur. "The more we consider his collection, the more 
we are entranced with it. It is the very cream of the Gospel, 
and yet (strange to say) it is peculiar to Luke." 5 Wright 
terms this a "Pauline collection," not because he derived it 
from Paul, but because it breathes Paul s cosmopolitan spirit. 
But Jesus was cosmopolitan before Paul and more so. Haw- 

1 Oxford Studies, pp. 29-59. 

z Some Principles of Literary Criticism and Their Application to the 
Synoptic Problem, p. 49. 

3 Oxford Studies, pp. 189 f . 4 Oxford Studies, p. xvii. 

5 Wright, Hastings s Diet, of Christ and the Gospels. 


kins 1 calls it "The Travel-Document," but cannot believe that 
Luke was one of the seventy sent forth by Jesus. He thinks 
that Luke may even have drafted this document himself be 
fore he began the Gospel narrative. He may have obtained 
first-hand information from one of the eye-witnesses who was 
with Jesus, possibly one of the seventy. So the matter must 
rest for the present. Only we must note that Luke may well 
have had a special source (written or oral) for the later Persean 
and Judean Ministry, which parallels in many respects the 
great Galilean Ministry. It is possible that in John s Gospel 
we have a parallel to the three journeys of Jesus to Jerusalem 
in this section. John describes three journeys to Jerusalem in 
the later ministry (7:2; 11:17; 12:1). These may corre 
spond 2 to Luke s journeys (9 : 51; 13 : 22; 17 : 11). 

Did Luke have any other special sources? It has already 
been noted that in Luke s account of the Passion Week Luke 
"does not abandon Mark, but uses him with freedom, and 
makes a number of additions." 3 Did Luke have another 
written record of the Passion of Christ, or did he supplement 
Mark from oral tradition ? Some hold that the copy of Q that 
Luke used had received this narrative addition. It is to be 
noted that Luke uses much more freedom in the arrangement 
of his material here than in the early parts of his Gospel. But 
Hawkins 4 holds that here, beyond a doubt, Luke makes use of 
oral material, and probably as a result of Paul s preaching. 
Paul preached largely about the death and resurrection of 
Jesus. The account of the institution of the Lord s Supper in 
Luke 22 : 19 f. is almost precisely the language of Paul in 
I Cor. 11 : 23-25. Luke was a fellow worker with Paul (Phile 
mon 24). Moulton has suggested that Paul was in Jerusalem 
before the Crucifixion and collected evidence against Jesus, 
that he had witnessed the death of Christ and that the face 
he saw on the road to Damascus he had first seen on the 
Cross. All this is quite possible, but Luke was not confined 
to Paul s preaching and Mark s Gospel. He knew James, the 

1 Oxford Studies, pp. 55 ff. 

8 See Broadus s Harmony of the Gospels, p. 251. 

8 Carpenter, Christianity According to S. Luke, p. 145. McLachlan (St. 
Luke: The Man and His Work, p. 19) holds that Luke shows the same 
" decided literary ability " in the use of these unknown sources. 

Expositor, July, 1911. 


brother of Jesus (Acts 21 : 18), Manaen, a foster-brother of 
Herod (Acts 13:1), Joanna (Luke 8:3; 24:10), the wife of 
Herod s steward Chuza, who could tell much about the trial 
before Herod as well as before Pilate. Luke knew Philip and 
his daughters at Caesarea (Acts 21 : 8). During the two years 
at Csesarea, Luke had abundant opportunity to secure full and 
precise information for his Gospel. Harnack 1 seeks to dis 
credit these eye-witnesses of the word: "These we must think 
of as ecstatics. Altogether wanting in sober-mindedness and 
credibility, like Philip and his four prophesying daughters 
who came to Asia." "Papias, who himself saw the daughters, 
expressly states that they transmitted stories of the old days." 
But why discredit them? They may, indeed, partly explain 
Luke s interest in the work of women for Christ, but that fact 
throws no shadow on his record as a historian. In the Galilean 
section of the Gospel, Luke adds various items (Luke 4 : 3-13, 
16-30; 5 : 1-11; 6 : 21-49; 7 : 1-8) to Mark s narrative. Bur 
ton would suggest a special Galilean document for these varia 
tions, but Wright thinks "anonymous fragments" sufficient 
to explain the phenomena. We cannot claim that we have 
traced all of Luke s sources for his Gospel. It is not necessary 
to do so. Enough is now known to justify Luke s claim to 
the use of "many" records and reports of eye-witnesses and 
others who told the story of Jesus by voice or pen. "The 
conclusion to which we must come is that S. Luke s Gospel, 
as has been often pointed out, is a new work." 2 He has not 
been a mere annalist or copyist. He has made careful research 
for the facts and has taken equal pains to write a narrative 
that is more complete than any in existence and that is accu 
rate and reliable. He has done it with the skill of the literary 
artist and with the stamp of his own style and personality at 
every turn. He has woven the material together into a unified 
whole that is to-day the joy of all lovers of Jesus and the de 
spair of all imitators. Luke has made the whole world see 
Jesus as he saw him, in the vivid stories and narratives that 
made his own soul glow with the Light of the ages. 

1 Luke the Physician, p. 153. 

2 Carpenter, op. cit., p. 147. Mr. Lummis (How Luke Was Written, p. 
46) thinks that Luke was a young man when he began the Gospel, 


"We sought to go forth into Macedonia" (Acts 16: 10) 

1. Both Oral and Written Sources. There is no formal state 
ment of Luke s method of study in the Acts, but one is entitled 
to believe that what Luke said in the Gospel applies to the 
Acts. 1 Certainly he would be no less industrious and pains 
taking. He would use all available material that would help 
him in his laudable ambition to picture the growth of Christi 
anity in the Roman Empire. Luke has not told us what his 
aim is in the Acts, and modern scholars differ greatly about 
it. It is clear that the book is not a history of the work of all 
the apostles nor of all the work of any one of them. It is not 
a biography of Paul, for great gaps exist in the story of Paul s 
work, as we can see from Paul s Epistles. It is not a sketch of 
Peter and Paul for the purpose of reconciling two factions in 
Christianity that followed these leaders. And yet it is true 
that " the most superficial examination of Acts shows that it 
is divided most obviously into a Peter part and a Paul 
part." 2 But this is true because in the stages of the apostolic 
period Peter was the chief figure, while Paul took the leader 
ship later on. So in chapters 1-12 Jerusalem is the centre 
of Christian activity, while in Chapters 13-28 the centre has 
shifted to Antioch. An elaborate " source-criticism" has arisen 
on the basis of the outstanding facts. A complicated system 
of " redactions" for the result has been worked out that is theo 
retical and unsatisfactory. Moffatt 3 gives a careful sketch of 
the theories of Blass, Briggs, Clemen, Harnack, Jiingst, Sorof, 
Spitta, B. Weiss. Headlam 4 thinks that the statement of most 
of the speculations refutes them. Harnack thinks that for the 

1 Luke probably had both books in mind when he wrote the Gospel. 
Certain it is that both books at first circulated together, parts of one 
whole. Chase, Credibility of the Acts, p. 16. 

2 Lake, Hastings s Diet, of Ap. Church. 

3 Intr. to Lit. of N. T., pp. 286-9. 4 Hastings s D. B., art. "Acts." 



first twelve chapters of Acts Luke has no written documents, 
while C. C. Torrey holds that Luke translated an Aramaic doc 
ument for Chapters 1-15. So the doctors differ. We do not 
have the benefit of actual comparison of Acts with the original 
sources to help us, as was true of the Gospel of Luke with Mark 
and Q. Hence the result is more inconclusive. But some broad 
facts are clear. One is the use of both oral and written sources. 
Another is that Luke himself is a participant in a large part of 
the story. Another is the fact of Paul s presence and Epistles. 
Another is the stay of Luke in Csesarea and Palestine, when 
he had opportunity to learn much about the earlier stages of the 
history before he became a Christian. It is plain, therefore, that 
Luke had exceptionally good opportunities for obtaining his 
torical data for the Acts. And yet the trustworthiness of the 
Acts has been more severely criticised than has that of the 
Gospel. It is precisely the Acts that has been more helped by 
recent discovery and criticism than any other book of the 
New Testament. The Gospel of Luke, as we shall see, was 
sharply criticised in 3 : 1-3 for alleged historical blunders, but 
the Acts was attacked in scores of places. Luke has been 
vindicated in nearly all of these instances where once he stood 
alone and is entitled to respectful consideration in the rest. 

Ramsay 1 holds that the Acts has been the victim of a false 
interpretation of the relation of Roman history and Chris 
tianity. For long it was assumed that Christianity was not 
persecuted by the state before Trajan s famous "Rescript" 
about A. D. 112. Hence all documents, like Acts, which 
showed evidence of such persecution, were relegated to the 
second century. But it is now plain that Pliny and Trajan 
are discussing a standing procedure, not a new order or atti 
tude. "Yet a long series of critics misunderstood the docu 
ments, and rested their theory of early Christian history on 
their extraordinary blunder." 2 Ramsay 3 makes it clear how 
important this point really is: "This change of view as regards 
the attitude of the Roman state toward the Christian Church, 
while it affects the whole New Testament, has been the turn 
ing-point in the tide of opinion regarding the Acts. That is 
the history of Christianity in the Roman Empire; there were 
indubitably some attempts to propagate Christianity toward 

1 Pauline and Other Studies, p. 195. 2 Ibid. 

*IUd., pp. 195 f. 


the east and south, beyond the limits of the empire, but the 
author of Acts regards these efforts as unimportant, and omits 
them entirely from his view." So, then, "what is urgently 
required at the present time in early Christian history is a 
completely new start, free from all assumptions, whether on 
the critical or on the traditional side." l Paul (Acts 19 : 21) 
had an ambition to evangelize the Roman Empire, and Luke 
is seized with this conception and carries Paul to Rome, the 
capital, where they both are at the time of writing the Acts. 
Ramsay 2 explains how his studies in Roman provincial history 
in Asia Minor compelled him to see how the Acts "must have 
been written in the first century and with admirable knowl 
edge. It plunges one into the atmosphere and the circum 
stances of the first century; it is out of harmony with the cir 
cumstances and spirit of the second century." 

The Acts as a whole bears the stamp of one mind, in spite of 
the variety of sources, as truly as does Luke s Gospel. We 
must think of Luke as drafting the plan of the book to suit his 
purpose and using the material that suited his aim. He first 
gathered his data and then went to work on his facts. The 
result is one of the great books of all time. 

2. Personal Experiences of the Author. It is best to begin 
with the "we" sections of Acts (16:9-40; 20:5-28:31), for 
here Luke himself was an eye-witness (cf . Luke 1:2) of the 
story which he tells. He is Paul s companion and minister 
for that part of the second journey from Troas to Philippi, 
and on the return trip in the third tour from Philippi to Jeru 
salem, in Csesarea for two years (most of it), on the voyage to 
Rome and for two years there. Here Luke was a participant 
in the events and could speak from personal knowledge. We 
do not have to think that Luke remained constantly with Paul 
during the whole of the two years and more in Csesarea, but he 
evidently made Csesarea headquarters and probably heard 
Paul make his several defenses in Jerusalem and Csesarea. 
Thus we can best understand the great fulness of detail for 
these parts of Acts. Luke had the glowing interest of one 
who lived through those exciting days. The style is in all 
essentials the same in the "we" sections as in the rest of the 
Acts, but with an added freedom and vividness. 

It is probable that Luke kept a diary for the time that he 

1 IUd. } p. 197. 2 Ibid., p. 199. 


was with Paul and is rewriting that for the Acts. For this 
reason Luke retains the "we" and "us." Luke was too care 
ful a writer to retain the pronoun if he was using the travel 
diary of another person. He was too honest a historian to 
seek to create the impression that he was present when he was 
not. 1 He was not the kind of man to pose as an eye-witness. 
Some preachers are accused of appropriating illustrations and 
applying them to their own experiences for rhetorical effect. 
Carpenter 2 aptly says : " If he had wanted to pretend, he would 
have been clever enough to do it more efficiently. He would 
have stated roundly that he had been there. It is true that 
he was a literary artist. But one of the first duties of a lit 
erary artist is to use language that will convey his meaning 
and be understood by those for whom he writes." It is not 
necessary to repeat the arguments that prove conclusively that 
the "we" sections of Acts are written in the same style as the 
rest of the Acts and of the Gospel. Harnack 3 sums the mat 
ter up by saying: "In no other part of the Acts of the Apostles 
are the peculiarities of vocabulary and style of the author of 
the twofold work so accumulated and concentrated as they 
are in the "we" sections. 

Blass 4 thinks that, whatever is true of the Gospel, for the 
Acts there is no need to raise any question concerning the 
sources, least of all for the "we" sections. He argues that 
Luke was so constantly with various participants in the events. 
Ramsay 5 has no patience with the idea that Luke had access 
to reliable sources here and there, but not as a whole: "That 
way of juggling with the supposed authorities of Luke, too, 
has been abandoned since then by all competent scholars. 
The idea that the writer of the Acts had good authorities to 
rely on for one or two details alone would not now be suggested 
or tolerated. That writer had a certain general level of knowl 
edge and information and judgment. He has to be estimated 
as a whole." That is obviously true, and yet it is pertinent 
to show, where possible, the nature of the sources at Luke s 
disposal. It is important that we do not expect too much of 
the Acts. It is not a biographical monograph with exhaustive 

1 Carpenter, Christianity According to S. Luke, p. 13. 

2 Ibid., p. 14. 3 Date of the Acts and the Gospels, p. 12. 
4 Acta Apostolorum, p. 10. 

6 Bearing of Recent Discovery, p. 80. 


details concerning any one character. 1 From Acts 13 : 1 on 
the book "becomes practically a biographical sketch of some 
phases of Paul s life and work." 2 Note the careful language 
of Moffatt. Luke does not aim at a complete narration of all 
events about Paul, but he tells what falls in with his purpose. 
Von Soden 3 notes that it was a common custom for distin 
guished travellers to have a diary kept by some member of the 
party as an aid to memory and for future use. It has been 
suggested that Xenophon did this for his Anabasis. It is 
noteworthy that Luke had the historical insight to keep such 
a diary while with Paul. In particular, Luke may have made 
notes of Paul s speeches which he heard (see later). Hayes 4 
thinks that Luke is a hero-worshipper of the first order, and 
but for his devotion to Paul he might never have written the 

3. Paul. It is certain that Luke was with Paul some five 
or six years (at Troas, Philippi, the journey to Jerusalem, 
Jerusalem, Csesarea, voyage, Rome), most of the time, if not 
all the time. It would have been very strange if Luke did not 
consult Paul at all about matters relating to their companion 
ship and fellowship. It is here assumed, of course, that Luke 
wrote the Acts in Rome before Paul was set free from the first 
Roman imprisonment. Paul may have had notes of some of 
his speeches on which Luke could draw for the course of his 
argument if his own notes were deficient. He could ask Paul 
to fill in a gap here or there. He could use Paul s recollection 
to supplement and to check his own memory concerning de 
tails. It is incongruous to think that Luke was with Paul 
while writing the book and yet failed to avail himself of Paul s 
store of knowledge. This remark applies not only to Paul s 
supplementing Luke s diary or recollection of the "we" sec 
tions, but also to the rest of the Paul narrative. 

On the hypothesis that Luke was Paul s companion, Lake 5 
sees clearly that "if this be so, we have for the rest of the 
Paul narrative a source ready to our hand in the personal 
information obtained by Luke from St. Paul himself, or from 
other companions of St. Paul whom he met in his society. This 

1 Chase, Credibility of the Gospel and Acts, p. 24. 

2 Intr. to Lit. of the N. T., p. 293. 3 Intr. to N. T., p. 243. 

4 Synoptic Gospels and Acts, p. 335. 

5 Hastings s Diet, of Ap. Church. 


may cover as much as Acts 9 : 1-30; 11 : 27-30; 12 : 25-31, or 
even more." Most assuredly, and we must include the story 
of the first mission tour (13 and 14), since Luke was not pres 
ent, and the great conference in Jerusalem and after events in 
Antioch (15). It is inconceivable that Luke would fail to get 
the benefit of Paul s first-hand knowledge of all this period if 
Paul was at hand in Rome with him. Paul may not have 
been Luke s only source for this period, but he did have Paul 
as a reservoir of information on all disputed points. Carpen 
ter feels that "a certain amount is surely from Paul himself." l 
We do not have to know how much. The important thing is 
for us to recognize that Luke wrote in the very atmosphere of 
his hero. Out of the Pauline environment then came both the 
Gospel of Luke and the Acts. 2 Luke was with Paul during the 
time when he was finishing the Judaizing controversy and was 
full of the Gnostic controversy. He saw Paul at the height of 
his powers. It is small wonder that in the Gospel and the 
Acts Luke reflects the Pauline conception of Christ. And yet 
Luke preserves the historical perspective. The early chapters 
of Acts faithfully preserve the primitive Christology, in essence 
the same as that of Paul. Carpenter 3 thinks that Luke the 
physician would be deeply interested "in the enthusiastic con 
versation of the friend, who was so bad a patient, so lovable a 
man." He would note the power of the Spirit in Paul, his 
fondness for the fellowship of his friends, his doctrine of Christ, 
his world outlook, his doctrine of the Kingdom, his eschatology. 
Paul could be of service to Luke for the work in Thessalonica, 
Athens, Corinth, Ephesus (Acts 17-19). We do not have to 
think that Luke simply gives Paul s view of things. He used 
various sources. Silas and Timothy could supplement much 
for this period. And there was Titus for the Corinthian 
troubles, with whom Luke seems to have been associated 
(brother and delegate). Aristarchus was with Luke and Paul 
for the journey to Jerusalem and to Rome (Acts 19 : 29; 20 : 4; 
27:2; Col. 4:10; Philemon 24). Luke had all these to re 
inforce Paul and himself for much of the Acts. Ramsay 4 is 
willing to admit that in Acts 19 : 2-16 Luke drops from his high 

I 0p. tit., p. 11. *!Ud. 

3 Op. dt. } p. 16. Harnack (Acts of the Apostles, p. 232) thinks that 
Luke relied on oral testimony for all this part of the Acts. 

4 St. Paul the Traveller, p. 272, 


standard and reports "a popular tale," but he is not sure. 
Better give Luke the benefit of the doubt for the present, at 
any rate. 

Did Luke have the help of Paul s Epistles? Some of them 
were written before Acts. If Acts appeared in A. D. 63 or 64, 
certainly I and II Thessalonians had been written (A. D. 
51-53); I and II Corinthians, Galatians, Romans (55-57) were 
also accessible to Luke. Philippians, Philemon, Colossians, 
and Ephesians (61-63) were written from Rome, apparently 
while Luke was there, though he seems to have been absent 
when Philippians was despatched (2:20). But scholars are 
not agreed as to whether Luke knew Paul s Epistles or not. 
Lake 1 bluntly says: "There is no reason to suppose that Luke 
was acquainted with any of the Pauline Epistles. There is 
nothing in the Acts which resembles a quotation, and in relat 
ing facts alluded to in the Epistles there is more often differ 
ence than agreement, even though it be true that the differ 
ence is not always serious." This is the opinion of most 
scholars that Luke had not read Paul s Epistles. It is only 
insisted here that he could have done so in so far as the date is 
concerned. His own movements would play some part in the 
matter. Ramsay, 2 however, says: "But personally I am dis 
posed to think that Luke knew the letters, though he does 
not make them his authority, because he had still higher and 
better, viz., Paul s own conversation." With this opinion I 
cordially agree. Luke had probably read the Epistles (not the 
Pastorals), but he did not have them with him as he wrote. 
He made no effort to copy them or to square his narrative with 

Some difficulties exist (cf. Gal. 2 : 1-10 and Acts 15 : 1-30), 
which will come up for discussion later. One must always 
bear in mind the purpose of Luke in Acts and the aim of Paul 
in his Epistles. In Gal. 2 Paul is discussing his independence 
of the Twelve, not his visits to Jerusalem. He is describing 
a private interview with the great Trio (Peter, James and 
John) in Jerusalem, not the public meetings of the whole Con 
ference, as in Acts 15. Thus the two accounts can be recon 
ciled if the same meeting is intended in both passages. Some 
take Gal. 2 : 1-10 to refer to another visit. Harnack 3 finds a 
special Antiochian source for Acts 15 : 1-30. 

1 Hastings s Ap. Church. 2 Bearing of Recent Discovery, p. 52. 

3 Acts of the Apostles, p. 199. 


But there is no denying the light that the Acts and the 
Epistles throw upon each other, as Paley long ago showed in 
his Horce Paulines. "Acts rightly understood is the best com 
mentary of the letters of Paul, and the letters on the Acts. If 
Luke had never known or read these letters, then all the more 
remarkable is it as a proof of the truth and historicity of both 
that the agreement is so perfect." 1 Harnack 2 has shown 
thirty-nine striking coincidences between Paul s Epistles and 
Acts 1-14 in the section before Luke came into contact with 
Paul. The agreement, Harnack argues, "is so extensive and 
so detailed as to exclude all wild hypotheses concerning those 
passages of the Acts that are without attestation in those 
Epistles." 3 And yet Luke has remained himself everywhere. 4 
His style is his own, his intellectual independence is main 
tained, he is not obsessed by Paul so as to lose his perspective. 
"One of the most assured results of recent research is that he 
was not a Paulinist masquerading as a historian." 5 The spirit 
of Paul is in the Acts and Paul s picture is drawn on bold can 
vas, but Luke has drawn the portrait in his own manner. 

4. Other First-Hand Reporters. It is certain that Luke was 
Paul s companion and so had his own notes and recollections 
for that portion of the history. It is certain, also, that he 
enjoyed the benefit of Paul s own suggestions for the same 
period and for the Paul narrative, where Luke was not a par 
ticipant. Besides, Luke had access to others of the Pauline 
circle, Aristarchus, Silas, Erastus, Timothy, Titus, Gaius, 
Sopater, Tychicus, Trophimus, Mark, Demas, Epaphras, 
Mnason, and possibly Barnabas, Symeon Niger, Lycius of 
Cyrene, and Manaen. We are certain of all in this Pauline 
group save the names beginning with Barnabas. If the Bezan 
text is correct in Acts 1 1 : 28, then Luke knew Barnabas and 
all those named in Acts 13 : 1. Thus we can see Luke s sources 
for two-thirds of the Acts, for nearly all of chapters 9-28 (ex 
cepting Peter s ministry in Lydda, Joppa, Caesarea, and Jeru 
salem). That of Barnabas in Csesarea and Jerusalem could 
have come from Paul, if not from Barnabas. 

So far so good. But what about the rest ? " The problems 

1 Ramsay, Bearing of Recent Discovery, p. 52. 

2 Acts of the Apostles, pp. 264-274. 

3 Ibid., p. 272. < IUd., p. 274. 
6 Moffatt, Mr. to Lit. of N. T., p. 281. 


presented by the earlier chapters are much more complicated." l 
Here again we are confronted with the problem of oral or 
written sources. Lake 2 holds that it "seems quite impossible 
to say whether he was using written sources." There is, un 
doubtedly, an Antiochian tradition and a Jerusalem tradition 
for the material that Luke employs for chapters 1-12 (save 
the story of Paul s conversion, 9 : 1-30). But it cannot as yet 
be shown that it was all written unless C. C. Torrey is right in 
his theory of an Aramaic document for chapters 1-15, about 
which we shall have more directly. 

But we can feel our way backward in Acts by means of 
persons with whom Luke came into personal contact. Cor 
nelius, if still living, could certainly tell Luke of the work of 
grace in Csesarea when Peter came. We know that Luke met 
James, the brother of Jesus, in Jerusalem (Acts 21 : 18) and 
the other elders. James was present during the days of the 
great Pentecostal outpouring (Acts 1 : 14) and could give Luke 
valuable data for this epochal event. It is not known that 
Luke met Peter in Jerusalem or in Rome, though both are 
possible occurrences. In that case, Peter himself would be 
Luke s main source. But we do know that Luke was with 
Mark in Rome. Mark, as the disciple of Peter and cousin of 
Barnabas, could furnish testimony concerning chapters 9 : 31- 
13 : 13. And there were Philip and his daughters, who dwelt 
in Csesarea. We know that Luke made a visit to this home 
(Acts 21 : 8) on his way to Jerusalem. During the two years 
in Csesarea Luke had abundant opportunities to learn from 
Philip the story of his work in Samaria and Philistia (chapter 
8) as well as the appointment of the seven and the career 
of Stephen (chapters 6 and 7). Besides, Paul was present at 
the delivery of Stephen s speech and at his stoning (Acts 
8 : 1 ; 26 : 10) and could help Luke materially at this point. In 
all these instances notes may have been made concerning the 
various sections, and turned over to Luke, or he may have 
made notes of his conversations. There is no way to decide. 

There remains the period covered by chapters 1-5. It is 
in this section, in particular, that Luke confronts supernatural 
phenomena, and where modern writers find most difficulty in 
crediting his narrative. Carpenter 3 is sure that Luke worked 

* Lake, Hastings s Diet, of Ap. Church. 2 Ibid. 

3 Christianity According to S. Luke, p. 23. 


backward from Paul to Pentecost. He agrees with Doctor 
Figgis "that it is right to begin history at this end," as, he 
argues, " Peter and Paul did in their preaching." " The thinker 
instantly works backward." This is an important point and 
confronts us squarely as we face Acts 1-5. "Did S. Paul, at 
his conversion, or before, or after, engage for his own satisfac 
tion in any kind of historical research? And if so, how thor 
oughly did he (and, we may add, S. Luke) carry through the 
process?" 1 Paul knows the fundamental facts of the life, 
death and resurrection of Jesus, whether he obtained them by 
personal acquaintance with Jesus or from others. 2 Paul stands 
in the path of the "Christ-Myth theory" and in the way of 
the idea of Loisy 3 that "Pauline Christianity was simply a 
mystery-cult, and that Paul cared no more, and perhaps be 
lieved no more, about the historicity of Jesus than the Osiris- 
worshipper cared or believed about the historical existence of 
Osiris." 4 As to Pentecost, Carpenter 5 feels certain that "the 
physician as an educated man, with at least something of the 
historical spirit, would inquire how and when the immanence 
of the Spirit in the community had begun." 

Harnack 6 thinks that nothing clear can be learned concerning 
the sources of Luke for the early chapters. He looks with 
suspicion on chapter 1 as a late legend, and sees a doublet in 
chapters 2 and 3-5, as does Lake. Harnack manifestly has a 
lower opinion of Acts 1-12 than he has for the worth of 13-28. 
Ramsay 7 admits the difficulty raised for modern people con 
cerning the miracles and demons in passages like Acts 5 : 12 
and 8:7. " It is matter for a special book to study the author 
ities whom Luke used for the first part of his history." 8 He 
argues for patience about psychic phenomena, and pleads that 
Luke must be credited with special interest in such cases, since 
he was a physician and a scientist. As a historian he would be 
careful to weigh the cases that he records. Ramsay 9 thinks 
that Luke used some official data or acta of the early Christian 

1 Ibid., p. 25. 2 Christianity According to S. Luke, pp. 28-32. 

8 Hibbert Journal, Oct., 1911. 

4 Carpenter, op. cit., p. 25. 6 Ibid., p. 21: 

6 Acts of the Apostles, p. 163. 

7 Bearing of Recent Discovery, p. 200. 

8 Bearing of Recent Discovery, p. 205. 

Expositor, VII, 7, pp. 172 f., 262 f., 358 f., 450 f. 


community in Jerusalem for the record in Acts 1-5 with the full 
report of Peter s great sermon at Pentecost, "which is in some 
ways one of the most archaic passages in the New Testament." l 
Ramsay holds that Philip could have reported Peter s speech, 
though hardly Acts 2 : 1-13. 

The earlier chapters of Acts show plainly enough that Luke 
was not a participant. There is care for accuracy about the 
historical origins of Christianity. "The subject in them is 
handled in a vague way with a less vigorous and nervous 
grasp." 2 As compared with the Gospel, Luke "had not the 
advantage of formal historical narratives such as he mentions 
for the period described in the First Book (the Gospel)." 3 
However, one is not entitled to discredit Luke s narrative in 
Acts 1-5, since he had ready access to numerous converts at 
the great Pentecost. Prejudice against Luke in these chapters 
is primarily prejudice against the supernatural demonstration 
of the power of the Holy Spirit and is on a par with prejudice 
against the Virgin Birth of Jesus and his Resurrection from 
the dead, all of which events are recorded in Luke s Gospel 
after due research and reflection. We shall see whether Luke 
is a mere recorder of tales, like Herodotus. 

5. The Theory of an Aramaic Document for Chapters 1-15. 
We know that Luke was acquainted with Aramaic, from his 
use of original sources for Luke 1 and 2 (except 1 : 1-4). In 
Acts 1 : 19 and 9 : 36 Luke translates Aramaic words. " Knowl 
edge of Aramaic and the ability to translate an easy Aramaic 
text may well be assumed in a native of Antioch, and one who 
was for many years a companion of St. Paul." 4 Harnack con 
siders the results of present knowledge "ambiguous": "There 
are, on the one hand, weighty reasons for the conclusion that 
St. Luke in the first half of the Acts has translated an Aramaic 
source, and yet it is impossible to refute the theory that he 
was only dependent upon oral information." 5 Harnack feels 
sure that Luke did not follow a single Aramaic source. He is 
positive 6 that Luke did not follow a written Greek source for 

1 Lake, Hastings s Diet, of Ap. Church. 

2 Ramsay, St. Paul the Traveller, p. 19. 3 Ibid., p. 20. 

4 Harnack, Luke the Physician, p. 119. McLachlan (St. Luke; the Man 
and His Work) devotes chap. II to "Luke the Linguist." He argues that 
Luke knew something of Latin, Aramaic, and Hebrew, but was not expert 
in them as in Greek. 

6 Ibid., p. 119. 6 Ibid., p. 116. 


this part of the Acts. Lake, 1 per contra, is confident that Luke 
had a written Greek source for Acts 3 and 4, possibly 5, and 
probably 8 : 5-40. So the doctors disagree again. 

Blass 2 suggests that Mark wrote out the first narrative of the 
apostolic period in Aramaic, and that Luke employed this 
Aramaic document for Acts 1-12. "I say that the language of 
the Acts is markedly different from that of the later chapters: 
in the former Aramaisms abound, in the latter they are com 
paratively very scarce; from these facts I argue that the second 
part is an independent work by Luke, but the former depends 
on an Aramaic source." 3 Blass thinks it doubtful if Luke 
knew Aramaic, and thinks it likely that he had an interpreter 
for Mark s book. Nestle 4 had suggested a Hebrew document 
for the early part of Acts. Moffatt 8 states his view thus: 
"Oral tradition of a heterogeneous and even of a legendary 
character may be held to explain most, if not all, of the data. 
There is fair ground for conjecturing, however, that Luke used 
and translated an Aramaic source." But no one has been 
able to show specific Aramaisms to any considerable extent. 
The first half of Acts seems as distinctly Lukan as the second. 

C. C. Torrey argued in 1912 that "the compiler of the Third 
Gospel was an accomplished translator of both Hebrew and 
Aramaic." 6 He returns to the subject in his monograph, "The 
Composition and Date of Acts" (1916), and attempts to show 
that Acts 1-15 is translated from an Aramaic document by 
Luke, the author of the "we" sections and of the Third Gos 
pel. "The whole book, however, shows unmistakable uni 
formity of vocabulary and phraseology, so that it is obvious 
(to him who recognizes the Semitic source) that the author of 
16-28 was the translator of 1-15." Professor Torrey proceeds 
to give what he considers numerous " translation Aramaisms," 
not Hebraisms. "The truth is that the language of all fifteen 
chapters is translation-Greek through and through, generally 
preserving even the order of words." 7 It may be admitted at 
once that, if Torrey proves his case, the question of the sources 

1 Hastings s Diet, of Ap. Church. 

2 Philology of the Gospels, pp. 141, 193 f., 201. 

3 Ibid., p. 194. 4 Expositor, 1895, p. 238. 

5 Intr. to Lit. of N. T., p. 290. 

6 Studies in the History of Religions, Presented to Crawford H. Toy, pp. 

7 Op. tit., p. 7. 


of Acts is greatly simplified. The Aramaic document (Mark ?), 
Luke and Paul would cover the whole story. It must be said, 
however, that Torrey apparently weakens his argument by 
what he calls "especially striking cases of mistranslation in 
Acts 1-15." l The Aramaic list is wholly hypothetical. The 
supposed mistranslation is not very convincing. Burkitt re 
views Torrey s pamphlet in the July, 1919, Journal of Theologi 
cal Studies. He says (p. 326) : " I venture to submit that Pro 
fessor Torrey has not produced a compelling demonstration," 
though he recognizes "an occasional use by St. Luke of Ara 
maic sources, written or oral" (p. 329). This is precisely my 
own feeling in the matter. Besides, Torrey (pp. 14 ff.) presses 
entirely too far the use of "his name" in Acts 3 : 16 as "a bit 
of popular superstition," "a certain quasi-magical power in 
the Name of Jesus." The trouble with this view is that in 
the Septuagint and in the papyri "name" occurs in the sense 
of "person" with no necessary "magical" sense. 2 Torrey 
claims too much and tries to prove too much. He puts all his 
eggs in one basket. But, as the case now stands, it must be 
admitted that an Aramaic document (or documents) is possi 
ble as one of the sources for the early chapters of Acts. I can 
not yet agree that Luke confined himself to one document for 
the early chapters of Acts when he had access to so many per 
sons who knew various parts of the story. 

Torrey s argument for an Aramaic source for Acts 1-15 has 
started discussion on an extensive scale. Foakes-Jackson in 
the Harvard Theological Renew for October, 1917, feels con 
vinced by Torrey s arguments that there were Aramaic sources 
for the first part of Acts. " That nothing but Aramaic sources 
were used is, I consider, not proven. That there was only one 
document appears to me extremely doubtful" (p. 360). He 
does think, however, that we must agree that Acts was com 
pleted by A. D. 64, and hence that Luke made no use of Jose- 
phus, and that the Acts is in no sense a Tendenz writing (p. 352). 
In the January, 1918, issue of the same journal W. J. Wilson 
says of Torrey s work (p. 74): "By his demonstration of a 

1 Op. at., pp. 10-22. 

2 Cf . Deissmann, Bible Studies, pp. 146, 197. An inscription of Caria 
has efc rb TOO 9soO Svoywc, where a purchaser acts as the representative of 
Zeus. The papyri show ovojjuz in sense of person. Cf. B. U. 113. 11 (143 
A. D.), !*<fcoT(p 3vonTt. So Fay, p. 531, ii. 9 f . (Ill A. D.), *pb? Ixcwrev Svo{jux. 


document in Aramaic, underlying Acts 1 : lb-15 : 35 and trans 
lated by Luke with painful fidelity into Greek, he has opened 
up a whole new field for the criticism of the Book of Acts." 
He then proceeds to make "some observations" on the basis of 
the Aramaic source. In the Harvard Theological Review for 
July, 1918, W. J. Wilson replies to Foakes- Jackson in defense 
of Torrey s plea for a single Aramaic document for Acts 1-15. 
He concludes that "the argument for the new theory appears 
very strong indeed" (p. 335). Bacon accepted Torrey s theory 
as a demonstration (American Journal of Theology, January, 
1918). In the January, 1919, issue of this quarterly Torrey 
discusses "Fact and Fancy in Theories Concerning Acts" and 
answers the criticisms of his critics. As has already been 
noted, Burkitt replies to Torrey in the July, 1919, Journal of 
Theological Studies. So the matter rests for the present. 1 
However it may be decided, the whole discussion has strength 
ened the argument for the early date and historical worth of 
the Acts, particularly the early chapters which were mainly 
under attack. 

1 McLachlan (St. Luke, p. 67) thinks that the Aramaic source is es 



"Luke the Beloved Physician" (Col. 4: 14) 
"Physician, Heal Thyself" (Luke 4 : 23) 

Can it be shown that Luke deserves to be called a man of 
science ? 

1. The Point at Issue. In Chapter I. 4 it was shown that 
the companion of Paul who wrote the Gospel and Acts was a 
physician. The only known friend and companion of Paul 
who was a physician is Luke. The proof seems complete, but 
it is now argued by Lake and by Cadbury that Hobart and 
Harnack make too much of the medical terms in the Lukan 
writings. Lake 1 sums up his view thus: "That Luke was a 
physician is argued by Harnack following up and greatly 
improving on the methods of Hobart on the ground of his 
use of medical language. The argument is, of course, cumula 
tive, and cannot be epitomized. It is beyond doubt that 
Luke frequently employs language which can be illustrated 
from Galen and other medical writers. The weak point is 
that no sufficient account has been taken of the fact that much 
of this language can probably be shown from the pages of 
Lucian, Dion of Prusa, etc., to have been part of the vocabu 
lary of any educated Greek." 

It should be admitted at once that the proof that Luke wrote 
the Gospel and Acts is complete without the linguistic argu 
ment concerning medical terms. That argument simply adds 
to the general effect. We know from Paul that Luke was a 
physician, and we are naturally interested in a physician s use 
of medical language. Other people employ medical terms. 
We find such language in the Gospels of Mark, Matthew and 
John. Lake and Cadbury rather miss the mark in their reply 
to Hobart and Harnack. It is not the mere tabulation of 
medical words that have entered the general vocabulary that 
is pertinent. "When a physician writes an historical work it 
does not necessarily follow that his profession shows itself in 

1 Hastings s Diet, of Ap. Church. 


his writing; yet it is only natural for one to look for traces of 
the author s medical profession in such a work." 1 Harnack 
notes six ways in which a physician will be likely to betray 
his profession. Medical points may determine the narrative 
(disease and its treatment), preference may be shown for 
stories of healing, the language may be colored by technical 
medical terms, traces of medical diagnosis may occur, medical 
phraseology may appear apart from cases of healing, and where 
the writer is an eye-witness medical traits are particularly 
noticeable. Harnack holds that in all these ways Luke reveals 
his medical side. Hobart divides his book, The Medical Lan 
guage of St. Luke, into two parts ("Medical Language Em 
ployed in the Account of Miracles of Healing" and that "Used 
Outside of Medical Subjects"). He gives numerous details 
from Greek medical writers. 

Cadbury 2 argues that the medical bias in Luke s vocabulary 
must be more considerable than in that of non-medical writers 
like Lucian to be of value as an argument. The reply is that 
it is not merely a matter of vocabulary, but of medical interest, 
that crops out in incidental ways. Jerome (Comm. on Isaiah 
43:6) says that ancient writers assert that Luke "was very 
learned in the medical art." 3 Naylor 4 finds Luke the " trained 
physician and a Greek probably the only one in the Christian 
Church in his time." He concludes that Luke differed widely 
from "the spirit and teaching of Greek medicine from Hippoc 
rates down to his own day " because he reports cases of demo 
niacal possession and cure. But Homan observes that "he 
nowhere claims for himself the possession of miraculous powers 
or intimates their exercise by him." Homan 5 adds that Luke s 
report of miracles was "a possible compromise between the 
science of the physician and the faith of the disciple." But 
Homan 6 attempts to show "that Luke must be ranked as one 
of the choicest medical minds known to any age." "In short, 
it is felt that the time has come when physicians should take 

1 Harnack, Luke the Physician, p. 175. 

2 Style and Literary Method of Luke, p. 50. 

3 Medicines artis fuisse sdentissimum. 

4 "Luke the Physician and Ancient Medicine" (Hibbert Journal, Octo 
ber, 1909, p. 40). 

6 Luke the Greek Physician, p. 7. 
6 Luke the Greek Physician, p. 13. 


steps to reclaim Luke as one of their own in the name of that 
profession of which he was one of the greatest ornaments." 

If it be said that it is merely the wild assumption of a mod 
ern apologist to say that Luke was in any true sense a scientist, 
it is refreshing to note some remarks by the late Sir William 
Osier, M.D., F.R.S., Regius Professor of Medicine in the Uni 
versity of Oxford, in a recent (May 16, 1919) presidential 
address before the Classical Association on The Old Humanities 
and the New Science, in which he says: "And the glories of 
Greek science should be opened in a sympathetic way to 
Greats men" (p. 28). "Few Greats men, I fear, could tell 
why Hippocrates is a living force to-day, or why a modern 
scientific physician would feel more at home with Erasistratus 
and Herophilus at Alexandria, or with Galen at Pergamos, 
than at any period in our story up to, say, Harvey" (p. 19). 
"In biology Aristotle speaks for the first time the language of 
modern science, and indeed he seems to have been first and 
foremost a biologist, and his natural history studies influenced 
profoundly his sociology, his psychology, and his philosophy 
in general" (p. 20). Sir William Osier laments modern igno 
rance of the Greek scientists and physicians. "And yet the 
methods of these men exorcised vagaries and superstitions 
from the human mind, and pointed to a clear knowledge of 
the laws of nature" (p. 20). "To observation and seasoned 
thought the Greek added experiment, but never fully used it 
in biology, an instrument which has made science productive, 
and to which the modern world owes its civilization" (p. 24). 
Luke lived in the atmosphere of Greek science. But Luke 
cannot be taken from Christ, even in the name of science. 
He brought his science and laid it at the feet of Jesus, the 
Great Physician. He preached the Gospel and practised the 
science of medicine, as many a man has done since Luke s day. 
But now let us see the illustrations of Luke s medical knowl 
edge in his writings. 

2. Changes from Mark s Account. Harnack 1 has grouped 
the examples from Hobart with great skill. The point to 
observe here is whether Luke made any changes that a physi 
cian would be likely to desire. We have seen already (Chap 
ter I. 4) that in Luke 8 : 43 Mark s caustic comment that the 
poor woman "had spent all that she had, and was nothing 
1 Luke the Physician, pp. 182-8. 


bettered, but rather grew worse" (Mark 5 : 26), has been soft 
ened to "she was not able to be healed by any * (a chronic case 
for which physicians were not to blame). But this striking 
case does not stand alone. 

In the account of the demoniac in the synagogue (Mark 1 : 26 
= Luke 4 : 35) Luke adds "having done him no hurt," showing 
the physician s interest in the details of the case. Luke also 
noted the fall of the man, "threw him down in the midst." 
One can observe all through the Gospel Luke s pleasure in pic 
turing Christ as the physician. 

The healing of Simon s mother-in-law (Mark 1 : 30 f . = 
Luke 4 : 38 f . = Matt. 8 : 14 f .) has some striking touches. 
Luke alone notes that she "was holden with a great fever." 1 
Precisely this medical phrase of "great fever" occurs in Galen 
and Hippocrates. Galen says that Greek physicians divided 
fevers into "great" 2 and "small." 3 Luke, like a doctor, adds 
also two items concerning Christ s method of treatment. " And 
he stood over her," 4 as if in careful contemplation of the symp 
toms of the patient by way of diagnosis. One thinks of the 
famous picture "The Doctor," wherein the physician sits 
with his head in his hand and watches the rapid breathing of 
the sick child on the bed. Luke adds "and rebuked the 
fever," showing that Jesus spoke words of authority and cheer 
like the wise physician. Jesus spoke not for mere psychologi 
cal effect on the patient, but also to show his instant mastery 
of the disease. So Luke observes that the fever left her "im 
mediately." 6 It is not a matter of vocabulary here, but we 
note the physician s interest and insight that give these touches 
to the story not present in Mark and Matthew. 

The "leper" (Mark 1:40 = Luke 5:12 = Matt. 8:2) is 
described by Luke as "a man full of leprosy," 6 a very bad 
case. "This particular is given only by the beloved physi 
cian. His face and his hands would be covered by ulcers and 
sores, so that every one could see that the hideous disease 
was at a very advanced stage." 7 In such a severe case, 
strange to say, the law allowed the leper to have freedom to 
come and go (cf. Lev. 13:12f.). Once again the physician 
describes the case as Mark and Matthew do not. 

VO> ai-rijq. 
vfjp xX-fjpTjs Xlicpa?. 7 Plummer, in loco. 


In Luke 5:18 (= Mark 2:3 = Matt. 9:2) we have the 
phrase " a man that was palsied " l rather than the popular 
term "paralytic" 2 of Mark and Matthew. "St. Luke s use 
is in strict agreement with that of medical writers." 3 Luke 
never employs the popular term for this disease, but always 
the medical phrase. 

In the story of the man with the withered hand (Luke 6 : 6 
= Mark 3:1 = Matt. 12 : 10), Luke, with a physician s eye for 
details of diagnosis, notes that it was his "right hand." So 
in Luke 22:50 (= Mark 14:47 = Matt. 26:51) Luke first 
notes it is the "right ear" of the servant of the high priest 
that is cut off. He was followed later in this item by John 
(18 : 10), who also gives the name Malchus. But in the case 
of Malchus Luke alone adds "And he touched his ear, and 
healed him" (Luke 22 : 51), a miracle of surgery that evidently 
interested him. 

In the account of the Gadarene demoniac (Luke 8 : 27 = 
Mark 5:2 = Matt. 8:28), Luke alone observes that "for a 
long time he had worn no clothes" (the physician s care again). 
Both Mark (5 : 15) and Luke (8 : 35) note that, when cured, 
he is "clothed and in his right mind." 

In the story of the raising of Jairus s daughter (Luke 8 : 55 
= Mark 5 : 41 f. = Matt. 9 : 25), Luke alone gives the detail 
that Jesus "commanded that something be given her to eat." 
Once more the physician s interest in the child s welfare appears 
(cf. Acts 9: 18). 

In the case of the epileptic boy (Luke 9 : 38 f . = Mark 9 : 17 f . 
= Matt. 17 : 15), each Gospel describes the symptoms differ 
ently. It was a hard case, that baffled the disciples. Luke 
represents the father as beseeching Jesus "to look upon my 
son," 4 as if for a fresh diagnosis of the case after the failure of 
the disciples. Alas, how many of us know what it is to see 
the consulting physician called in ! Luke adds the pathetic 
plea, "for he is mine only child." Hobart adds also: "It is 
worthy of note that Aretseus, a physician about Luke s time, 
admits the possibility of this disease being produced by dia 
bolical agency." 

8 Hobart, Medical Language of St. Luke, p. 6. 
4 impxfclxzi. Hobart cites this word and ^yt? dcicoxwpeZ as medical terms 


Once more Luke (18 : 25 = Mark 10 : 25 = Matt. 19 : 24) em 
ploys a different word for " needle," l the surgeon s needle, not 
the ordinary needle, 2 as in Mark and Matthew. Luke employs 
the word that Galen uses for the surgeon s needle, a distinct 
trace of medical authorship. 

The point about these changes lies in the professional inter 
est of the physician, not in the linguistic improvements of an 
educated man. Luke did make many such changes because 
of his literary taste, but another explanation clearly holds 
here. The argument stands, but it does not stand alone, 
strong as it is. 

3. Items Peculiar to Luke s Gospel. Luke reveals a pro 
fessional interest in medical matters in the portions of the 
Gospel which he alone has. Hayes 3 has made an admirable 
summary of this argument. Luke was a medical evangelist 
and had a vital interest in both forms of the work of Christ 
(teaching and healing). "And he sent them forth to preach 
the Kingdom of God, and to heal the sick" (Luke 9:2). So 
Christ commanded the Twelve as he sent them on the tour of 
Galilee, as Matthew (10 : 8) also gives: "Heal the sick, raise the 
dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons." But Luke alone 
gives the following. To the seventy Jesus said: "And heal 
the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The Kingdom 
of God is come nigh unto you" (Luke 10 : 9). When the sev 
enty returned from their tour of Judea, they say to Jesus: 
"Lord, even the demons are subject unto us in thy name" 
(Luke 10:17). 

In Christ s Messianic sermon at Nazareth he had quoted 
Isaiah 40: 1 f., and applied to himself the mission "to preach 
good tidings to the poor" and "recovery of sight to the blind." 
Luke makes a specialty of the double mission of Jesus to heal 
both soul and body. In harmony with this conception it must 
be noted that Luke alone gives Christ s proverb, "Physician, 
heal thyself" (Luke 4: 23). Galen speaks of a physician who 
should have cured himself before practising on his patients. 
The saying was evidently common with physicians and Christ s 
use of it interested Luke. We to-day say that a doctor ought 
to take his own medicine. The Chinese do not pay physicians 

1 peX6viQ. A magic papyrus (P. Lond., 121, 442, 3 A. D.) has the more 
general use of the word. 

2 3 Synoptic Gospels and Acts, pp. 224 f. 


if the patient gets sick, but only when he is well. The Chris 
tian doctor to-day in China has an open door to the souls of 
the people. 

Luke uses a number of general expressions, as do the other 
Gospels, that picture the vast extent of Christ s work of heal 
ing (cf. Luke 4 : 40 f . ; 5 : 15 f . ; 6 : 17-19; 7 : 21 ; 13 : 32). He 
has six miracles not in the other Gospels, and all but one (the 
draft of fishes, 5:1-11) are miracles of healing (the son of 
the widow of Nain, 7:11-17; the woman with the spirit of 
infirmity, 13:10-17; the man with the dropsy, 14:1-6; the 
cleansing of the ten lepers, 17 : 11-19; the restoration of Mal- 
chus s ear, 22:51). 

In each instance we see signs of the physician s love of de 
tails about the case and the cure. The son of the widow of 
Nain "sat up" in the bier like a patient in bed, to the con 
sternation of the pall-bearers (Luke 7:15f.). The word for 
"sat up" 1 is used by medical writers in the intransitive sense 
for sitting up in bed. 2 

In the case of the woman with the spirit of infirmity Luke 
gives an exact description of her disease (curvature of the 
spine) and of the cure in technical language: "She was bowed 
together, 3 and could in no wise lift herself up." 4 "And imme 
diately she was made straight." 5 This verb is common in the 
Septuagmt, but medical writers employ it for "to straighten, 
to put into natural position, abnormal or dislocated parts of 
the body." 6 

The "dropsical man" 7 (Luke 14: 2) is described by a word 
that does not occur elsewhere in the New Testament, though 
this adjective as a substantive, as in Luke, "is the usual way 
in medical language of denoting a person suffering from 
dropsy." 8 Hobart cites examples from Hippocrates, Dios- 
corides, Galen. 

1 dtvex8c<jev. In a Christian letter of 4 c. A. D. we have dcvaxaBeaSscsa used 
of a convalescent woman who is still sickly. P. Oxy., VI, 939, 25. 

2 Hobart, Medical Language of St. Luke, pp. 11 f. So Hippocrates 
(Prcenot. 37) has dvaxaO^etv (Jo6Xea6ac tfcv voaeovTa TYJ? v6oou 

4 dvaxityat. Note same root. For el? tb iwtvreX^, see Heb. 7 : 25. There 
is a play on the words dtvca&^ac and auvx&xtouoa. In Luke 21 : 28 Jesus em 
ploys dvax6tpate with SrofcpotTe. See P. Par., 47, 23 ff. for similar use, "a very 
grandiloquent, but ill-spelt letter" (Moulton and Milligan, Vocabulary of the 
Greek N. T., p. 35). 

6 dtvG>p6u>8Tj. 6 Hobart, op, cit., p. 22o 7 

8 Hobart, op. cU. t p. 24. 


In the healing of the lepers (Luke 17 : 11-19) Luke uses the 
ordinary term "leper," 1 not "full of leprosy," as in 5:12. 
Hobart 2 thinks that Luke, by the use of these two ways of 
describing the disease that had three forms, 3 according to Hip 
pocrates, means to draw a distinction in accord with the Hip- 
pocratic diagnosis. The ten lepers had the milder form of 
the disease. 

It has already been stated that Luke first mentions the 
healing of Malchus s ear (Luke 22:51). Jesus "touched the 
ear, not the place where the ear had been" (Plummer, in loco), 
and thus Luke means to record the " solitary miracle of surgery " 
in the New Testament, again with the physician s interest in 
such a case. It was necessary for Jesus to undo the result of 
Peter s rash act to show that he was not the leader of danger 
ous persons. 

Luke alone records the parable of the Good Samaritan 
(Luke 10 : 30-37) with its account of the care of the wounded 
traveller. Modern hospitals carry out the point of this story 
which caught Luke s heart, and largely because of what Jesus 
said. Hobart 4 quotes Galen as saying "that it was not un 
usual for persons when seized with illness on a journey to take 
refuge in inns. Galen, too, uses the word * half-dead 5 in de 
scribing their case." This word occurs here only in the New 
Testament (see 4 Mace. 4:11). But Wellhausen sets aside 
the medical details in the story by saying: "Into a wound one 
pours oil, but not oil and wine." But Wellhausen is set at 
naught by Hippocrates, who recommended for wounds "anoint 
ing with oil and wine." 6 Hobart 7 observes that "wine and oil 
were usual remedies for sores, wounds, etc., and also used as 
internal medicine." The words 8 for binding up, wounds, pour 
ing, are all common as medical terms. 

In the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16 : 19-31) 
a number of medical terms appear. Lazarus was "full of 
sores." 9 The word is peculiar to Luke in the New Testament, 

1 Xexp6 ? . 2 Op. tit., p. 5. 8 fifths, Xe6xij, 

4 Op. tit., p. 27. 6 -^t8avfc. 

6 Mosh. Mul. 656, cftefya? IXafcp seal oTvtp. See P. Petr., II, 25 (a) M for 
use of xpfotv for "the lotion for a sick horse" (Moulton and Milligan, Vo 
cabulary), in opposition to the view that <JXe(^w was used for profane an 
ointing and xpta for sacred uses only. 

7 Op. tit., p. 28, 8 *<jcTaS4o>, 


and is "the regular medical term for to be ulcerated." 1 Hip 
pocrates has a treatise on "ulcers." 2 "The physician thinks 
of the absence of medical help: the dogs licked his sores." 3 
The dogs gave "the only attention, and, so to speak, medical 
dressing, which his sores received" (St. Cyril). The words 
for "cool" 4 and being "in anguish" 5 are common in medical 
writers, the latter for pain and the former for alleviation. 

It is now evident that Luke has betrayed in his Gospel the 
habits of mind of a physician. There is no straining after 
effect in this argument. It is cumulative and overpowering. 

4. Medical Matters in Acts. How is it in the Acts ? Does 
Luke reveal his professional interest to the same extent here? 
To this question we now turn. As in the Gospel, so in the 
Acts, Luke has general statements concerning the great num 
ber of cures wrought by the Apostles in Jerusalem (Acts 5 : 16) 
and by Paul in Ephesus (Acts 19: 11). Harnack 6 thinks that 
"this invariable disposition to see in the miracles of healing 
the chief function of the mighty forces of the new religion, 
and at the same time on each occasion to distinguish with 
anxious care between ordinary sick folk and the possessed/ 
points to a physician as the author." Ramsay 7 criticises Har 
nack for being "too purely verbal," and for having "too little 
hold upon realities and facts" in his treatment of Luke. There 
is something in this indictment, but Harnack sees dearly the 
weight of Hobart s proof that a physician wrote the Gospel 
and the Acts. Ramsay 8 is right, also, in seeing that Hobart s 
proof stands in spite of his overstatements here and there. 
"The valuelessness of one detail, the lightness of one stone, 
does not take away from the strength and the weight of the 
other details, though it may annoy and mislead the hasty 
reader who judges by a sample, and by chance or design takes 
the poorest." In cumulative evidence one feels the force of 
the whole. In this argument we have simply selected a few of 
the most striking examples given by Hobart. These hold true, 
whatever is true of the rest. And these prove the point. 

1 Hobart, op. tit., p. 31. 2 e XxTj (Luke 16 : 21). 

3 Harnack, Luke the Physician, p. 191. 

4 xaTa<J>6%a>. Luke has four of these compounds which "were very much 
used in medical language" (Hobart). 

5 6 Luke the Physician, p. 196. 
7 Luke the Physician, p. 59. 8 Ibid., p. 225. 


When we come to details in Acts the story of the Gospel is 
repeated. In Acts 1 : 3 Luke alone in the New Testament has 
the word "proof" 1 which "was technically employed in medi 
cal language." 2 In fact, Dioscorides uses the word in his 
Proem to his work De Materia Medica. In familiar language 
"proof" and "sign" 3 were synonymous (Wisd. 5:11), yet 
Aristotle (Rhet. 1 : 2) makes the technical distinction which 
"was strictly maintained by medical men, although Luke may 
no doubt have met the word elsewhere." 4 One need not press 
this point nor the use of "wait for" 5 in 1 : 4, used only by Luke 
in the New Testament, and common in medical writings for 
awaiting the result of medicine or other medical treatment. 6 
In Acts 1 : 18 the word for "headlong" 7 is peculiar to Luke 
and is common to medical writers in a technical sense. The 
word occurs in classical writers. 

In Acts 3 : 7 f., Luke has a remarkable description of the 
sudden healing of the lame man. Note "ankle-bones" 8 which 
is found here alone in the New Testament and is the technical 
language of a medical man. 9 Besides, the word for "feet" 10 is 
unusual in this sense outside of medical works. The word for 
"received strength" 11 is common enough, but medical writers 
use it. Luke s word for "immediately" 12 is frequent in both 
Gospel and Acts, and in the great majority of instances he uses 
it concerning cases of healing or of death as it appears in medi 
cal writers. 13 Notice also Luke s interest in the proof of the 
sudden cure (leaping, standing, beginning to walk). 

In Acts 5 : 5 and 10 Luke says that both Ananias and Sap- 
phira "gave up the ghost." 14 He uses it also of the death of 
Herod Agrippa I (Acts 12 : 23). It occurs in Ezek. 21 : 7, but 
" seems to be almost confined to the medical writers, and very 
seldom used by them." 15 So in Acts 5 : 6 Luke has "wrapped 
him round" 16 or "shrouded him." This verb occurs only once 
in classical Greek in this sense of "shroud," but "in medical 

2 Hobart, op. tit., p. 184. 8 

4 Knowling, Acts, in loco. 6 

6 Hobart, op. cit., p. 184. 7 

8 a4>piSp&. 
9 Hobart, op. cit., pp. 34 f.; Knowling, Acts, in loco. 

10 frfcastq. 

12 xapaxpTJ{xa. Mark uses e56u<;. 

13 Hobart, op. tit., pp. 97 f. 
15 Hobart, op. tit., p. 37. 


language the word is very frequent and its sense varied," l for 
bandaging, binding, etc. 

In the account of SauPs conversion Luke says (Acts 9 : 18) 
that " scales 2 " fell " 3 from his eyes. Both words are peculiar 
to Luke in the New Testament, but are common in medical 
writers and in conjunction for the falling off of scales from the 
cuticle or any diseased part of the body. 4 

In the case of /Eneas (Acts 9 : 33) Luke employs the same 
technical word for "sick of the palsy" that he has in the Gospel 
(5 : 18), but he also gives "a medical note of the length of time 
the disease had lasted" 6 (eight years), as he does in other cases: 
"The woman with a spirit of infirmity was eighteen years ill; 
the woman with an issue of blood twelve years; the lame man 
at the gate of the temple was forty years old, and his disease 
congenital." 6 Luke has four words 7 for "sick-bed," and this 
fact itself is remarkable. One for couch or bed, and two 
diminutives (peculiar to Luke in N. T.) from that and one for 
the pallet of the poorer classes. ^Eneas was lying on the pal 
let. In Acts 5: 15 Luke notes that the sick were laid "on 
beds and pallets." 8 In Acts 10 : 10; 11 : 5; 22 : 17 Luke em 
ploys a word for "trance" (our "ecstasy"), common enough 
for "wonder," but Luke alone in the New Testament has it 
for vision or trance. It is frequent in medical works in this 

Hobart 9 notes that the "mist" 10 and darkness that fell on 
Elymas (Acts 13 : 11) was a distinct eye-disease. Galen uses 
the word for one of the diseases of the eye, and Dioscorides 
applies it to the cataract. It is not in the Septuagint, and 
Luke alone has it in the New Testament. 

In the case of the lame man at Lystra (Acts 14 : 8) who was 
"impotent in his feet," ll Luke employs a word common enough 
in the sense of "impossible," but only here in the New Testa- 

1 Hobart, op. ait., p. 38. 

3 dirf-jcemzv. In P. Par., 47, 27 (B. C. 153) we have dxox(xro) in the sense 
of "collapse." 

4 Hobart, op. cU., p. 39. B Hobart, op. ctt,, p. 40. 

7 xXfvT), xXtvdptov, xXtvfSiov, xp4$@<rro<; (pallet). 

8 lict xXtvaptav xal xpa^diTtov. 

9 Op. cti. 10 

M <iB6vaTo? rots icoaCv. In P. Lond., 971, 4 (iii-iv A. D.) we have ,dc36vaTO<; 
used of a woman who was not strong, Sid dcoO^vstav rij<; <J>6asto<;. 


ment in the sense of "impotent." Medical writers use it 
freely as Luke has it here. 1 One thinks of "foot-drop," "fall 
ing arch" and many other weaknesses of the foot. 

In Acts 20 : 9-12 Luke twice observes that the lad was borne 
down by sleep, once by "deep sleep," like Galen and Hippoc 
rates and other medical writers. Luke mentions also that 
there were "many lights" in the room. Hobart 2 thinks that 
the heat and oily smells helped to make the lad sleepy and not 
alone Paul s long sermon. He notes also that he fell from the 
third story and naturally was taken up dead. "They brought 
the lad alive." Luke was in the company and doubtless was 
one of the first to pick up the boy. He saw Paul heal the lad 
and was deeply impressed by the incident. 

In Acts 21 : 1-10 several interesting items call for notice. 
Luke, like the barbarians, was interested in the fact that Paul 
did not fall down dead suddenly when bitten by the "viper" 
or "constrictor," which Ramsay 3 urges as the translation. 
Constrictors have no poison-fangs and do not technically bite, 
but they cling or "fasten on" 4 as this snake did to Paul s hand. 
The word ("fastened on") is peculiar to Luke in the New Tes 
tament, and is common in medical writers. "Dioscorides 
uses it of poisonous matter introduced into the body." 6 Ram 
say insists that the constrictor, not the viper in the technical 
sense, alone occurs in Malta, and Luke uses a general term 6 
once, and the word for viper 7 is not always strictly used. In 
any case Luke is in no trouble. The word for swelling 8 is also 
a medical term : 9 it is the usual word for inflammation. Besides, 
Luke s word for "expected" 10 is used eleven times by Luke and 
only five in all the rest of the New Testament. It is common 
in medical writers. And then Luke notes that the father of 
Publius had "fevers" u as well as dysentery. The word in the 
plural for one person is peculiar to Luke in the New Testa 
ment, but it is strictly medical, as in Hippocrates, who uses it 
in connection with dysentery, as Luke does here. 12 Luke alone 
uses this medical word also in the New Testament. It has 

1 Hobart, op. tit., p. 46. 2 Ibid., p. 48. 

8 Luke the Physician, p. 63. 4 xa6?)4>ev. 

6 Hobart, op. tit., p. 288. 6 6rjp(ov. 

9 Hobart, op. tit., p. 50. 10 

11 TcupsToi?. Hobart, op. tit., p. 52. 


been already observed that Luke employs one verb 1 for the 
miraculous cure of Publius by Paul and another 2 for the gen 
eral practice of medicine in which he engaged. The rest came 
and received medical treatment at Luke s hands. 

It is impossible in the light of the foregoing facts not to agree 
with Harnack 3 that the evidence is of "overwhelming force." 
The author of both the Gospel and the Acts was a physician. 
Even if Paul had not told us that Luke was a physician, we 
could now see it to be true. It is good to be able to see the 
facts. It is not claimed that Luke knew modern scientific 
theories, but that he had the spirit and method of the man of 
science of his day. 

2 48epaice6ovro. 
Luke the Physician, p. 198. 



"The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the 
Most High shall overshadow thee" (Luke 1 : 35). 

It is hard to overestimate the world s debt to Luke. But 
for Luke we should not have the Christmas story. How poor 
we should be without it. 

1. A Vital Element in Luke s History. It is manifest that 
the more we have stressed the general culture of Luke, his 
scientific training as a physician and his painstaking research 
as a historian, the more difficult it is to say that Luke just 
dumped in the story of Christ s birth because he picked it up 
and because he wished to have a fuller report than Mark had 
given. If "Luke is a historian of the first rank," 2 he must be 
credited with a serious purpose in giving the account of the 
Virgin Birth of Jesus. "We can argue, then, with perfect 
confidence that Luke did not take the narrative of the birth 
and childhood of Christ from mere current talk and general 
belief ." 3 To say that he was credulous and told legends about 
Zacharias and Elizabeth, Joseph and Mary, John and Jesus, is 
to fly in the face of Luke 1 : 1-4 and to brand Luke either as 
a hypocrite or an incompetent. Every man is a child of his 
time save Jesus, who is that and also the child of all time. 
In this discussion no claim is made that Luke is infallible or 
even inspired. It is only asked that all the facts involved be 
honestly faced, 

One may pass by occasional bias, personal prejudice, or a 
slip now and then in a historian without throwing him to the 
discard, if one sees proof of these things. An occasional fly 
in the ointment can be discounted. But in a crucial matter 
like the birth of Jesus in Luke 1 and 2 one cannot overlook 
carelessness or credulity. "If a historian is convicted in a 
vital error on such a vital point, he ceases to be trustworthy 

1 See Sunday School Times, May 29, 1920. 

2 Ramsay, Bearing of Recent Discovery, p. 222. 

3 Ramsay, Was Christ Born at Bethlehem ?, p. 80. 



on his own account." 1 We cannot deny the fact that Luke, 
great historian and great physician as he was, soberly recorded 
the superhuman birth of Jesus. 2 Luke reports that Jesus had 
a human mother, but not a human father. This is the core of 
the problem but not all of it. Luke likewise narrates the visits 
or visions of the angel Gabriel to Zacharias and to Mary. He 
also tells the message of the angel of the Lord to the shepherds 
near Bethlehem and the song of the heavenly host and the 
visit of the shepherds to Mary and the child. And then he 
records the prophetic insight of Simeon and Anna, besides the 
noble hymns of Elizabeth, Mary and Zacharias. He has 
written these narratives with consummate care and skill. One 
has only to turn to the silly legends about the birth of Jesus in 
the Nativity of Mary, the Pseudo-Matthew, the Arabic Gos 
pel of the Infancy, the Protevangelium of James, the Gospel of 
Thomas, to see the restraint and simple dignity of Luke s 
narrative. "The frigid miracle-mongering of the so-called 
Gospels of the Infancy, when compared with the transparent 
honesty and delicate reserve of our Evangelists, offers one of 
the most instructive contrasts in all literature." 3 

It is impossible to separate Luke the physician and Luke 
the historian. It is the cultured Greek physician, the man of 
science, who contributes the story of the miraculous birth of 
Jesus. It is easy enough to some to dismiss the whole story as 
due to heathen myth or Jewish legend, with the desire to satisfy 
devout demands for the deification of Jesus. The Roman 
emperors were worshipped. Why not attribute deity to Jesus ? 
But heathenism had no influence on Christianity thus early, 
and it was repellent to Judaism to worship Jesus. Harnack 4 
holds that one "must cherish serious doubts as to whether the 
idea of the Virgin Birth would have ever made its appearance 

1 Ramsay, ibid., p. 6. 

2 Some modern writers profess to see in Luke 1 : 31-33 natural paternity 
and in 1 : 34-35 supernatural causality, claiming that the original docu 
ment gave only the first, while Luke added the second. So Weiss in his 
ed. of Meyer, p. 303. But that is purely hypothetical. See Bruce, Exposi 
tor s Greek Testament, p. 465. There is no doubt at all as to the genuine 
ness of Luke 1 : 34-35, since all the documents give it. Here we have the 
view of Luke whatever was in the source (oral or written). He attributes 
the origin of the birth of Jesus to the Holy Spirit, and calls the child the 
Son of God. 

3 J. Armitage Robinson, Some Thoughts on the Incarnation, p. 38. 

4 Date of the Acts and the Synoptic Gospels, p. 145. 


on Jewish soil if it had not been for Isaiah 7 : 14." He thinks 1 
that orthodox Jews may have brooded over the idea that the 
Mother of the Messiah was to be a virgin. At any rate Har- 
nack is sure that Luke "could not have himself invented a fic 
tion like this." 2 But "fiction" he takes it to be. Matthew 
Arnold 3 bluntly asserts: "I do not believe in the Virgin Birth 
of Christ because it involves a miracle, and miracles do not 
happen." Thus science and history are turned against Luke s 
narrative. But scientists to-day are not so dogmatic against 
the possibility of miracle. The eminent scientist Professor 
Sir George Stokes says in the Gifford Lectures for 1891, p. 23: 
"If we think of the laws of Nature as self-existent and self- 
caused, then we cannot admit any deviation from them. But 
if we think of them as designed by a Supreme Will, then we 
must allow the possibility of their being on some particular 
occasion suspended." Miracle is difficult of definition. The 
English word is from the Latin miraculum, meaning a wonder 
ful thing. But in the New Testament the word for wonder 
(teras) never occurs alone, but in connection with the words for 
mighty works (dunameis) and for signs (semeid). The New 
Testament conception of miracle is thus that it is something 
out of the ordinary, wrought by the special interposition of the 
Divine Will, for a high moral purpose. Sir Oliver Lodge (Life 
and Matter, p. 198) holds that life transcends and yet also 
combines and controls the physical forces of the world. 

The point is not made here that one "must" believe in the 
Virgin Birth of Jesus or be damned. It is doubtful if the 
Twelve Apostles knew the facts about Christ s birth at first. 
Indeed, it cannot be positively proven that any of them ever 
became familiar with the facts about the Virgin Birth, unless 
the Apostle Matthew is the author of our Greek Gospel bearing 
his name and the Apostle John wrote the Fourth Gospel. Cer 
tainly they would not preach them during the lifetime of Mary 
out of regard for her. In the nature of the. case the subject 

1 Ibid., p. 148. 

z lbid., p. 155. Carpenter (Christianity According to S. Luke, p. 156) 
observes that "the Jews had no particular reverence for virginity. . . . 
Isaiah s words were never regarded by the Jews as a prediction of Mes 
siah s birth of a virgin." See also Box, The Virgin Birth of Jesus, p. 220. 
Philo s teaching is too vague and at most implies divine generation for the 
Messiah, not Virgin Birth. 

3 Preface to Literature and Dogma. 


was not, and is not, one for public discourse. Jesus made no 
reference to the matter so far as we know. Soltau 1 is rather 
fierce in his protest : " Whoever makes the further demand that 
an evangelical Christian shall believe in the words conceived by 
the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary/ wittingly constitutes 
himself a sharer in a sin against the Holy Spirit of the true 
Gospel as transmitted to us by the apostles and their school." 
But surely Soltau is a bit excited in these words. The simple 
truth is that the only record in the Gospels gives the Virgin 
Birth. Mark begins with the public ministry and, of course, 
has nothing at all on the subject. John writes after Matthew 
and Luke and seems to refer to the Virgin Birth in John 1 : 14. 
The reference is certainly to the Incarnation and it is not in 
consistent with the Virgin Birth. If it be asked why John 
makes no explicit mention of the Virgin Birth, it may be 
replied that he was content with what Matthew and Luke tell 
and saw no occasion to add to what they narrate. There are 
those who interpret John 1 : 14 as a denial of the Virgin Birth, 
but that surely is a misinterpretation of John s language. Both 
Matthew and Luke narrate the birth of Jesus as superhuman 
without a human father. They give independent narratives, 
but they agree on this crucial point. 

We are concerned with Luke the physician. "Some day 
we may know how a Greek physician came to write the story 
of Bethlehem." 2 Luke as a physician had written his birth 
reports (and death reports), but never one like this. He knew 
the silly legends about the Caesars and the Greek gods and god 
desses. He has reverence for childhood and for motherhood. 
He has the soul of the saint and the insight of the scientist. 
He is perfectly conscious of the importance of this part of his 
story, but he is not posing. There are no stage theatricals as 
at the birth of Louis XIV at St. Germain. With matchless 
art he pictures the Babe in the manger at Bethlehem. We 
may be sure that this story came out of the Christian circle, 
out of the inner circle. 

2. Did Luke Believe His Narrative ? The question is quite 
pertinent. We are bound to say that he did. Harnack 3 has 
no doubt of Luke s sincerity. He clearly thinks that he is 
narrating facts, not pious legends. Harnack suggests that 

1 The Virgin Birth, p. 65. 2 Naylor, The Expositor, 1909. 

3 Date of the Acts and the Synoptic Gospels, pp. 154 f . 


Luke may have been an adherent of John the Baptist before he 
became a Christian, because of his knowledge of the birth of 
the Baptist. That is quite unlikely, and Luke s two years in 
Palestine, with headquarters at Csesarea, offer abundant oppor 
tunity for obtaining such information. Luke tells the Christ 
mas story with utter sincerity, sheer simplicity and transcen 
dent beauty. Christianity thus owes Luke a tremendous 
debt. The influence of the first two chapters of Luke s Gospel 
on the race has been incalculable. So far from being a mere 
teller of old wives fables in chapters 1 and 2, Ramsay 1 holds 
that "Luke attached the highest importance to this part of 
his narrative." "The elaboration and detail of the first two 
chapters of the Gospel form a sufficient proof that Luke recog 
nized the importance of the central incident in them." We 
may argue, therefore, that as a historian of the first rank Luke 
took particular pains with the birth of Jesus. His reputation 
as a man of science was involved, as was his character as an 
honest historian. Whether he translated Aramaic documents 
or oral traditions or rewrote the whole in his own language, 
Luke makes himself responsible for the narrative. 

It is inconceivable that he put in these stories without due 
reflection. He saw what was at stake and wrote them out 
deliberately. He would not have done so if he had considered 
them merely idle tales. He believed in the supernatural birth 
of Jesus. Was he incompetent ? Was he superstitious ? Was 
he credulous? Was he gullible ? We may ask these questions 
if we will. But we are not at liberty to question Luke s intel 
lectual honesty. He may have been mistaken. That is a 
matter of opinion. But, at least, he is entitled to be heard 
concerning the Virgin Birth of Jesus on the assumption of his 
own belief in that event with whatever weight his proved worth 
as an accurate historian and his opinion as a medical expert of 
his time may carry. Luke himself says "that he had inves 
tigated from their origin the facts which he is going to narrate." 2 
"St. Luke has been proved to be a writer of great historical 
accuracy, and we may be certain that he admitted nothing 
within his record of which he had not thoroughly tested the 
truth." 3 The presumption, then, is in favor of the truthful- 

1 Was Christ Born at Bethlehem ?, p. 73. 

2 Ramsay, Was Christ Born at Bethlehem ?, p. 78. 

3 Grierson, Hastings s One Vol. B. D. 


ness of the Birth narrative so far as Luke s character as a 
man and writer goes, unless, forsooth, the matter in question 
is inherently impossible in itself. That condition we pass by 
for the present, but it must be considered before we reach a 
conclusion. For the moment Luke predisposes one to believe 
his narrative. 

3. Where Did Luke Get His Information ? In Chapter III, 
The Sources of the Gospel, it was shown that Luke probably 
obtained the facts about the birth of Jesus from Mary herself, 
either directly or indirectly. It is quite possible that Mary 
herself was still living in Palestine during the years 57 and 58, 
when Luke was there. 1 If not, Luke could easily have talked 
with some one who knew Mary s heart on this subject. Ram 
say thinks that the directness of the whole story implies oral 
origin rather than formal autobiography. " There is a womanly 
spirit in the whole narrative, which seems inconsistent with 
the transmission from man to man, and which, moreover, is 
an indication of Luke s character: he had marked sympathy 
with women." 2 It is impossible to think that Luke deliberately 
attempted to create the false impression by literary skill that 
Mary was the source of his knowledge. 3 There were only two 
persons who knew the facts concerning the supernatural birth 
of Jesus. These were Mary and Joseph. 

At first Mary alone knew. But Joseph had to know if he 
was to be the protector of his espoused wife. Matthew s report 
is from the standpoint of Joseph, and it is plain that Joseph 
was disposed to put Mary away privily instead of making her a 
public example according to law and custom (Matt. 1:19). 
It is not stated in Matthew whether Joseph simply became 
suspicious or whether he disbelieved the story of Mary, though 
it is implied that she did not tell for a while. Note " she was 
found with child of the Holy Ghost" (Matt. 1:19). Cer 
tainly Mary s predicament was awkward and embarrassing in 
the extreme. The appearance of the angel of the Lord to 
Joseph was necessary to clear her in Joseph s eyes (Matt. 
1 : 20-25). Then Joseph was willing to bear the obloquy of 
public reproach with Mary and to shield her as his wife. It 
is plain from both Matthew and Luke that, outside of Mary s 
confidence to Elizabeth, they kept their secret to themselves. 

1 Ramsay, Was Christ Born at Bethlehem ?, p. 88. 2 Ibid. 

8 Ibid., p. 78. 


It is undoubted that the neighbors in Nazareth regarded Jesus 
as the son of Joseph and Mary. Talk would die down in the 
course of time. Joseph planned to go back to Bethlehem on 
his return from Egypt, possibly to avoid the gossip of Naz 
areth. But because of the change in Herod s will he came 
back to Nazareth, for Antipas was to be preferred to Arche- 
laus (Matt. 11:22). Mary could carry her head erect, for 
she knew the facts and kept them hid in her heart (Luke 
2 : 19, 51). It was enough that Joseph understood and trusted 
her. The effort of Herod to kill the Babe would close Mary s 
mouth all the tighter. Fortunately Mary would not hear all 
the talk which reappears even in the Talmud. Any claim on 
her part that her son was to be the Messiah would have made 
matters worse. 

But was Mary to remain silent always? Did she not owe 
it to herself and to Joseph and to Jesus to tell the facts before 
she died? Both Mary and Joseph might die. Joseph appar 
ently did die before the ministry of Jesus, but not before telling 
his story to some one, or drafting it so that Matthew ultimately 
got hold of it. Jesus was now dead. Elizabeth had long 
since died. Mary alone was left. She had a sacred responsi 
bility to clear her own honor. 1 Clearly, then, sooner or later, 
Mary told some one, either her intimate friend Joanna, or 
Luke, the sympathetic physician who would understand her 
inmost heart. We can be grateful that she revealed the secrets 
of her soul. "In these chapters, in short, we seem looking 
through a glass into Mary s very heart. Her purity of soul, 
her delicate reserve, her inspired exaltation, her patient com 
mitting of herself into God s hands to vindicate her honor, her 
deep, brooding, thoughtful spirit how truth-like and worthy 
of the fact is the whole picture/ 2 

It is not hard to imagine the intense interest with which 
Luke first listened to this story from Mary or read her narra 
tive of her unexampled experience. He satisfied himself of its 
truthfulness by all the tests that were open to him. His Greek 
science and Christian theology offered objections and raised 
difficulties, we may be sure. After accepting Mary s report of 
her experiences Luke was naturally anxious to do justice to 
Mary and to Jesus. Doctor Len G. Broughton, of Knoxville, 

1 Orr, The Virgin Birth of Christ, p. 86. 

2 Ibid., p. 84. 


himself long a physician of skill, remarked l to me that Luke 
naturally gives Mary s version of the event because that is the 
practice of the physician. He talks to the mother before he 
makes his birth-report. 

4. But Why Did Luke Tell It At All f Why not keep silent 
on the subject as the Apostles did in their preaching and as 
Mark did in his Gospel? It is customary to say that Luke 
wished to write a complete life of Jesus and not a mere sketch 
of his ministry and death, as Mark has done. It is more 
complete but it is not a full life of Christ. Luke adds the 
Birth narrative and gives only one glimpse of Jesus thereafter, 
the visit to Jerusalem of the twelve-year-old boy, till his appear 
ance by the Jordan. The crux of the matter is the supernat 
ural birth of Jesus. He evidently felt that this must be told 
whatever else was left out. And he naturally tells it first of 

It is usually said that the Logia of Jesus (Q) did not contain 
an account of the birth of Jesus. This is probably true, 
though it cannot be affirmed positively. Matthew and Luke 
do, indeed, give different versions of the birth of Jesus, but it 
does not follow that Luke was not acquainted with that of 
Matthew. Q may very well have included matter that is 
represented by either Matthew or Luke and not used by 
both Gospels. Q was chiefly discourses. But both Matthew 
and Luke, apart from Q, may have known the story from 
Joseph s standpoint as Matthew tells it. It is wholly possible 
that Luke knew the Gospel of Matthew. "It is now most 
probable that Luke had heard the story which Matthew gives, 
and it would have been easy to fit this into his own narrative 
without disturbing either account. But they do not rest on 
equal authority; and Luke would not mix the two." 2 If 
Joseph s story was already known among the disciples and 
written down in Q or in Matthew, all the more Luke would feel 
called upon to give Mary s side of the story which had never 
been written in a Gospel and which was not generally known 
from the very nature of the case. He would do this with no 
thought of reflection on or correction of the Joseph version. 
Ramsay 3 thinks that he prefers Mary s version because he 

1 At Northfield, August, 1919. 

2 Ramsay, Was Christ Born at Bethlehem ?, p. 79. 
9 Ibid. 


had it on the highest authority, from Mary herself. The con 
fidence of Mary to Luke, if given personally, he took as a 
sacred trust. 

It is plain that Luke s purpose is different from that of 
Matthew whether he had Matthew s story or not. Matthew 
writes to convince the Jews that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah. 
He gives the legal genealogy of Jesus through Joseph, his legal 
father, though it is made plain that Joseph is not the actual 
father of Jesus. Even the Sinaitic Syriac, which says in 
Matt. 1 : 16 that Joseph begat Jesus, contradicts that state 
ment in 1 : 18-20 by retaining the conception of Jesus by the 
Holy Ghost and the refusal of Joseph to keep his troth with 
Mary till reassured by the angel of the Lord. It is evident 
that some scribe, probably Ebionite or Cerinthina Gnostic, 
changed the text in 1 : 16 to get rid of the superhuman birth 
and deity of Jesus, but failed to alter 1 : 18-20. The lineage 
of Joseph, given by Matthew, was the only way for Jesus to 
have a legal genealogy from the Jewish standpoint. But Luke 
is not writing to convince Jews that Jesus is the Jewish Mes 
siah. He is writing for the Gentile world, to prove to all men 
everywhere that Jesus of Nazareth is the Saviour of the world. 
All that Matthew has about the birth of Jesus may be true, but 
it is beside the mark for Luke s purpose. Luke dedicates his 
Gospel to Theophilus, but he has his eye on the Grseco-Roman 
world. Hence he gives the actual genealogy of Jesus through 
his mother Mary. He does not even combine her story with 
that of Joseph, but gives hers alone. The two accounts sup 
plement each other in a way not possible if both are romances. 
"No two imaginary portraits ever agreed unless one copied 
the other which is evidently not the case here." 1 Luke had 
lived in Macedonia, where women had more freedom than in 
most places at that time. Luke shows himself the friend of 
women both in the Gospel and in the Acts. So Luke has 
every reason for giving the story of the Nativity as he got it 
from Mary. His narrative comes from a woman who is He 
brew and who is saturated with Hebrew thought, spirit and 
imagery. 2 

It is sometimes objected that the Birth narratives in Luke 
and Matthew are legendary because they do not appear in 

1 Sweet, art. "Mary" in Int. St. Bible Encycl. 

2 Ramsay, Luke the Physician, p. 13. 


Mark and John. The objection about Mark is quite beside the 
point, since he begins with the Baptist s ministry. His work 
is a torso. As to John, the case is different. John evidently 
was familiar with the accounts of both Matthew and Luke. 
"But John, in particular, assumes that his readers know the 
facts recorded in the Synoptic Gospels, and his work is an 
unintelligible phenomenon in literature unless this is recog 
nized." 1 It is a gross misunderstanding of John 1 : 14, "the 
Word became flesh," 2 to say that John here ignores or denies 
the Virgin Birth of Jesus. Indeed, his language only becomes 
intelligible when we see that he has that fact in mind. John 
in his Prologue has given a philosophical statement of the 
Incarnation of Christ under the term Logos. He has taken 
the Memra of the Hebrew, the Logos of the Stoics and Philo, 
the Virgin Birth of Jesus in Matthew and Luke, and has put 
them together in one grand conception on a par with the Jew 
ish idea of Messiah. 3 The Logos is personal and pre-existent 
and divine (John 1 : 1) before his Incarnation (1 : 14). Thus 
he becomes "God only begotten" (1 : 18) and is in the bosom 
of the Father, the true Interpretation (Exegesis 4 ) of the Father, 
the Son of God in the flesh. Jesus is the Son of God (1 : 34, 49). 
Here John says nothing, it is true, about Mary, or Joseph, or 
the angel Gabriel, or the Holy Ghost. He gives the picture of 
the eternal Son of God becoming flesh, not entering into flesh 
from the outside and not seeming to be flesh as the Docetics 
taught, but actual union of God and man. Every word that 
John employs is in perfect harmony w r ith the records in Mat 
thew and Luke. Indeed, by implication John denies that 
Jesus is the actual son of Joseph. 

We do not know whether Paul was acquainted with the 
birth narrative in Luke s Gospel. There is no reason for it 

1 Ramsay, Was Christ Born at Bethlehem ?, p. 98. 

2 6 X6YO? c&pJj lylvero. 

3 If it be objected that John s failure to speak of the Holy Spirit shows 
that he did not believe that the Incarnation was due to the Holy Spirit, 
the answer is that by the same reasoning his failure to mention Mary here 
might show disbelief in her as the Mother of Jesus, but for later mention 
as his Mother. What can be truthfully said is that the historical details 
of the birth of Jesus are not considered by John germane to his argument 
covering the Incarnation Jof the Logos, a philosophical concept stated in 
broad general terms. 


not to be so if the Gospel was written in Csesarea. He may or 
may not have heard of the Virgin Birth of Jesus before that 
time. In Gal. 4 : 4 Paul speaks of Christ as "born of woman," 
which, of course, is true of all men. But his language allows 
the Virgin Birth. In Romans 1 : 3 f . Paul presents the human 
nature of Christ, "who was born of the seed of David accord 
ing to the flesh," and the divine nature also, "who was declared 
to be the Son of God with power," language certainly in har 
mony with the Virgin Birth. It cannot be complained that 
Paul gives no details on this subject. Why should he do so? 
The language of Paul is not decisive either way. It may well 
be that he knew nothing at all about the Virgin Birth though 
he says nothing that is inconsistent with it. If he was familiar 
with the narratives in Matthew or Luke or with the fact itself, 
there was no necessity for his use of the fact in connection with 
the Resurrection or with the doctrine of the Atonement. The 
real humanity and the real deity of Christ are the pertinent 
facts for Paul s argument. He was not giving infancy narra 
tives, as Matthew and Luke did. 

5. Is the Virgin Birth Credible To-day f Can a modern man 
accept the story of the birth of Jesus? Each age is sure of 
itself and credulous of others. Our own is characterized by a 
species of cocksureness in its own wisdom that has no founda 
tion in matter of fact. This question of the Virgin Birth of 
Jesus, attested by both Matthew and Luke in two independent 
narratives, has been attacked from every standpoint. 

On scientific grounds it is argued that it is impossible. At 
least that argument was once made. Modern science is 
familiar with parthenogenesis or "virgin birth" in the lower 
forms of life. 1 Hence science cannot set aside the Virgin 
Birth of Jesus. However, Luke does not present the birth of 
Jesus as in accord with nature. He distinctly asserts that it 
was due to the overshadowing of Mary by the Holy Ghost, 
like the Shekinah or Presence of God. It is miracle that we 
have, not nature, but miracle cannot be ruled out unless it is 
ruled out everywhere. To do that rules out God and leaves 

*See interesting article on "Parthenogenesis" in the New International 
Encyclopaedia, where a fairly full discussion of the subject appears. The 
aphis (plant-louse), gall-gnats and other lower forms of animal life show 
examples of parthenogenesis. Loeb has succeeded in developing sea- 
urchins in unfertilized eggs by artificial stimulation. 


us with materialism, the biggest miracle of all. Besides, men 
of science to-day do believe in the Virgin Birth of Jesus, just as 
Luke did before them. And he was also a man of science. 

It is objected that Luke has simply followed blindly the 
heathen myths which tell of gods becoming men. Some have 
found analogues in Babylonian mythology, some in Greek 
mythology, some in Jewish theology. But none of them gives 
us a real Virgin Birth. They each contradict the other. No 
real connection with Christianity is shown. "The Jewish 
theories confute the Gentile; the Gentile the Jewish; the new 
Babylonian theory destroys both and itself perishes with 
them." l Harnack, 2 who counts the story as legend, yet knocks 
the "myth" theories in the head: "Nothing that is mytho 
logical in the sense of Greek or Oriental myth is to be found 
in these accounts; all here is in the spirit of the Old Testament, 
and most of it reads like a passage from the historical books of 
that ancient volume." 

It is objected that the very beauty and charm of Luke s 
narrative proves that it is all a legend. "That, as an a priori 
statement, I deny. S. Luke may be artistic, but so is God." 3 
The point is that the persons and the poems in Luke 1 and 2 
suit the actual events even better than they suit Luke s story. 
The steps of God have a rhythm that puts to shame our noblest 
measures. If God is at work in the birth of Jesus, everything 
else is simple enough. The supreme art of Luke lies in telling 
the story as it was. Ramsay* has biting sarcasm for critics 
that cannot be satisfied: "Luke has already been proved in the 
process of discovery to be correct in almost every detail of his 
statement" (in Luke 2: 1-3). "The story is now established, 
and the plea now is that Luke s story is a legend because it is 
true to facts." We do not have to say that Luke had the 
same concepts that Mary had at each point. " That there was 
a more anthropomorphic picture of the messenger in Luke s 
mind than there was in Mary s I feel no doubt. Yet I believe 
that Luke was translating as exactly as he could into Greek 
that which he had heard. He expresses and thinks as a Greek 
that which was thought and expressed by a Hebrew." 5 I 

1 Orr, The Virgin Birth of Jesus, p. 181. 

2 Date of the Acts and Synoptic Gospels, p. 156. 

3 Carpenter, Christianity According to S. Luke, p. 166. 

4 Bearing of Recent Discovery, p. 226. 

5 Ramsay, Luke the Physician, p. 13. Cf . p. 255. 


heartily agree with Carpenter 1 when he says of these events: 
"I believe that they were beyond the power of either Luke or 
Mary to invent, though their meaning was not beyond the 
power of Mary to apprehend. That experience, described so 
briefly, so simply, so plainly, yet without a single word that 
could offend the most delicate purity, I take to be the Con 
ception of the Holy Child." 

It is even objected that the silence of Jesus concerning his 
divine birth discredits the narrative in Matthew and Luke. 
That is an utterly absurd demand. From the nature of the 
case Jesus could not say anything on that subject. But when 
only twelve years old he does reveal a consciousness that God 
is his Father in a peculiar sense (Luke 2:49). He often in 
sisted on this point (John 5:18; 8:19; 10:25) in a way to 
enrage his enemies, who finally accused him of blasphemy for 
this very thing (Matt. 26 : 63 f.). 

It is not claimed that all the difficulty concerning the Virgin 
Birth of Jesus has been removed. We live in a world that has 
recovered the sense of wonder. The greatness of God over 
shadows all. The discovery of radium has made men of 
science humble. Astronomy has enlarged our ideas of God. 
Einstein has modified Galileo and Newton. Scientists gaze 
into the heavens with fresh awe. And even men to-day can 
fly in the air. Loeb claims that by artificial stimulus he has 
made fertile infertile eggs of some forms of sea-life (the sea- 
urchin). If Loeb can do this, cannot God? "God laid his 
hand on the deepest spring of man s being when His Son came 
to us conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary. " 2 
All things considered, it seems to me that the Virgin Birth of 
Jesus is overwhelmingly attested. We have seen the strength 
of the witness of Luke and the independent testimony of 
Matthew. John s Gospel really supports them. There is 
nothing contrary to this view in the New Testament save the 
erroneous reading of the Sinaitic Syriac for Matt. 1 : 16, which 
is itself contradicted by its own text for Matt. 1 : 18-20. 

But the question goes deeper than the witness of documents 
or the interpretation of Luke. Carpenter 3 puts it fairly: 
"Matters of this sort, involving belief or disbelief in the doc- 

1 Op. dt., p. 168. 

2 Father Paul Bull, God and Our Soldiers, p. 244. 
8 Op. tit., p. 158. 


trine of the Virgin Birth, are not determined, and cannot be 
determined, by sheer literary and historical criticism." 

We are confronted by the fact of Christ, the most tremen 
dous fact in human history. All efforts to prove that Jesus 
never lived, but is a myth, have failed signally. All efforts to 
separate "Jesus" and "Christ" have likewise failed from the 
days of Cerinthus with his "^Eon Christ" coming upon "Jesus" 
at his baptism to the recent "Jesus or Christ" controversy. 1 
The historic Jesus and the Christ of faith confront us in Mark 
and in Q (the Logia of Jesus), our earliest known documents 
concerning Jesus. Besides, Christianity is the vital force for 
human uplift in the world. Christ to-day is the hope of the 

Thinking men have to account for the fact and the force of 
Christ. We have the view of Luke. It does account for the 
phenomenon of Jesus. If we reject it, we must have an alter 
native view. There are those who think that the natural 
birth of Jesus meets all the demands of a real Incarnation and 
who are disposed to reject the reports in Matthew and Luke as 
legends or myths. Every one must speak what he sees on 
this subject. For myself, apart from setting aside these two 
narratives and the consequent slur on Mary, who was not yet 
married, the philosophical difficulty is measurably enhanced 
by denial of the Virgin Birth. That view gives us the picture 
of a God-possessed man, but not quite the essential union of 
God and man. The Cerinthian Gnostic held that the divine 
Christ came upon the man Jesus at his baptism and left him 
on the Cross. 

Carpenter 2 has no doubt that the "Incarnation principle is 
more clearly exhibited in the doctrine of a Virgin Birth than 
in any other." For myself I cannot conceive of a real Incar 
nation of God in any other way. Some men think that they 
can conceive of an Incarnation of God in Jesus even if Joseph 
was his actual father. They are certainly honest in their view, 
but it does not satisfy one. It greatly increases the difficulties 
for me. Sir W. F. Barrett 3 quotes F. C. S. Schiller as saying: 
"A mind unwilling to believe, or even undesirous to believe, 
our weightiest evidence must ever fail to impress. It will 
insist on taking the evidence in bits and rejecting item by item. 

1 Cf . Hibbert Journal Supplement for 1909. * Op. tit., p. 159. 

8 Preface to On the Threshold of the Unseen. 


The man who announces his intention of waiting until a 
single bit of absolutely conclusive evidence turns up, is really 
a man not open to conviction, and if he be a logician, he knows 

The testimony of Luke concerning the Virgin Birth of Jesus 
is part of the larger problem of Jesus as the Son of God in 
human flesh. That question raises the greatest of all issues, 
the fact and the nature of God, of man, of sin, of redemption, 1 
of law, of miracle, of life, of matter, of spirit. The angel 
Gabriel said to Mary: "Wherefore also that which is to be 
born shall be called holy" (Luke 1 : 35). Peter says that 
"he did no sin" (I Peter 2:22). John asserts that "in him 
was no sin" (I John 3:5). Paul declares that "he knew no 
sin" (II Cor. 5 : 21). The author of Hebrews (4 : 15) says that 
Jesus was "without sin." Jesus himself claimed sinlessness 
(John 8:46). "This problem of an absolutely Holy One in 
our sinful humanity: How did it come about? Can nature 
explain it?" 2 Bruce 3 has the answer: "A sinless man is as 
much a miracle in the moral world as a Virgin Birth is a mira 
cle in the physical world." It remains true that the best 
explanation of the whole truth about Jesus lies in the inter 
pretation given by Luke in the opening chapters of his Gospel. 

1 The sinlessness of Jesus is not without moral value if he is God as 
well as man. He fought temptation, as we know, and kept himself free 
from sin. He had a clean start, and because of his sinlessness did not 
have to make atonement for sin of his own. 

2 Orr, The Virgin Birth of Christ, p. 191. 
8 Apologetics, p. 410. 



"This was the first enrolment made when Quirinius was governor 
of Syria. And all went to enrol themselves, every one to his 
own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city 
of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called 
Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David; to 
enrol himself with Mary, who was betrothed to him, being great 
with child" (Luke 2: 2-5). 

Was Jbdfiy born in Bethlehem ? Did the Romans have a 
periodical census? Was Quirinius twice governor of Syria? 
Is Luke a credible historian ? 

1. A Crucial Passage. Luke 2 : 1-7 has been furiously 
assailed by the critics as a bundle of blunders, if not worse. 
" Wilcken speaks of the passage Luke 2 : 1-3 as * the Lukan 
legend (das Lukas-legende)." 2 The theological critics were 
more severe than historians like Mommsen and Gardthausen. 
It is only fair to say that we owe the clearing up of the com 
plicated issues in this passage to Ramsay just as we can thank 
Hawkins and Harnack for strengthening the case for Luke s 
use of Mark and the Logia and Hobart for the light on the 
medical language of Luke. Ramsay 3 tells how a German 
critic sharply challenged his championship of Luke in St. 
Paul the Traveller by asking this query: "If Luke is a great 
historian, what would the author of this book make of Luke 
2:1-3?" Ramsay adds that "nothing more was needed. 
This brief question was sufficient. It was at that time ad 
mitted on all hands that the statements in that passage are 
entirely unhistorical. Not only did theological critics brush 
them aside as incredible, every one that had any acquaintance 
with Roman imperial history regarded them as false and due 
either to blundering or to pure invention." 4 The issue was 
put up squarely to Ramsay, who had ranked Luke as a his 
torian of the first rank. "A number of the German critics, 

1 The Biblical Review, October, 1920. 

2 Ramsay, Bearing of Recent Discovery, p. 225. 

Bearing of Recent Discovery, p. 223. * Ibid. 



followed by many outside of Germany, used until recently to 
say without hesitation that Augustus never issued any decree 
ordering a census, that there never was under the empire any 
regular system of census, that where any casual census was 
held the presence of the wife was not required but only of the 
husband, and that his presence was never required at his origi 
nal home." l Luke said all these things which the modern 
critics flatly deny. 

Who is right, Luke or the critics? The unfair attitude 
toward Luke has been the assumption that he was bound to 
be wrong because he stood unsupported by other ancient 
authorities. It is not so much that they contradict Luke as 
that they do not give the items that he records. / It is coolly 
assumed that Luke is of no value as a historian wherrhe stands 
alone. As a matter of fact, it is precisely when the historian 
stands alone that his real worth as a writer is put to the test. 
We see then whether he is a mere traditionalist or has made 
original investigation for the facts. "Their hostility to Luke 
arose out of their refusal to admit the superhuman element 
in the government of the world." 2 This prejudice led Baur 
and the Tubingen school to deny that Luke wrote the Gospel 
and the Acts and to claim that the books were late party pam 
phlets of the second century. 

Even now the same distrust of Luke as a reliable writer sur 
vives on the part of some who accept the Lukan authorship 
and the early date of both Gospel and Acts. There is a dis 
tinct "return to tradition" on both these points, a movement 
led by Harnack and followed by men like Kirsopp Lake and 
C. C. Torrey. "The real significance of the return to tradi 
tion in literary criticism consists in the support that it affords 
to those who have not decided to reject the supernaturalistic 
view of Christian origins." 3 The great majority of radical 
critics have refused to follow Harnack in his conclusions about 
Luke s writings. Those who do follow him refuse to admit 
the reality of the miraculous element. But it has become 
difficult to discredit Luke on that ground if he wrote within 
twenty years of the events. 

1 Ibid., p. 225. 

2 Bearing of Recent Discovery, p. 225. 

3 Machen, "Recent Criticism of the Book of Acts" (Princeton Review, 
October, 1919, p. 592). 


But did Luke make a bad bungle of the facts in the Gospel 
2 : 1-7 ? To the testimony let us turn. 

2. The Two Bethlehems. It is actually charged that Luke 
has confused the Bethlehem in Galilee (Zebulon) about seven 
miles northeast of Nazareth with Bethlehem of Judea. Usener 
makes this charge 1 and urges also that the author of the Fourth 
Gospel (7 : 41 f.) was ignorant of the fact that Jesus was born 
in Bethlehem of Judea. This is surely a curious argument 
when the people in John 7 : 42 quote the passage in Micah 5 : 2 
with the prophecy that the Messiah was to be born there. 
There are two Bethlehems, 2 to be sure, but it does not follow 
that Luke is wrong. He is supported by Matt. 2:6. The two 
distinct traditions (from Joseph and from Mary) locate the 
birth of Jesus at Bethlehem in Judea. It is true that Mark 
is silent as he is about the fact of the birth itself. We have 
seen that John 3 assumes a knowledge of Matthew and Luke. 
But for Matthew and Luke one might suppose (cf. Luke 2 : 39) 
that Jesus was born at Nazareth. But Luke is held to be dis 
credited on this point because of his alleged blunders concern 
ing the census and Quirinius, but without any real basis in 

3. "The Whole World." Luke is charged with historical 
looseness in saying that "all the world" 4 was to be enrolled. 
He might at least be allowed the use of a harmless hyperbole 
in the popular language of the time. Surely, no one would 
accuse Luke of meaning that Augustus meant his decree to 
apply to India and China or even to Parthia and western 
Germany, where Rome did not rule. The civilized world at 
that time was the Roman world, the Mediterranean world. 
Luke reports the Jewish rabbis in Thessalonica as accusing 
Paul and his company of having "turned the world upside 
down" (Acts 17:63), meaning, of course, the Roman Empire. 
Demetrius hi Ephesus called a meeting of the workmen and 
roused them to fury by saying that Paul brought into disrepute 
the worship of Diana, "whom all Asia and the world worship- 
peth" (Acts 19:27). It is pettifogging criticism to pick at 
Luke s language in the Gospel (2:1) on this point. 

1 Encycl. Biblica. 

2 Cf . Sanday, Sacred Sites of the Gospels, p. 25. 

3 Ramsay, Was Christ Born at Bethlehem ?, p. 98. 

4 Tcocoav -rijv oJ 


4. Herod s Kingdom. Ramsay 1 makes a sober argument to 
prove from Strabo and Appian that the subject or vassal 
kingdoms were as really under the Roman rule as the prov 
inces (imperial and senatorial). It is perfectly plain that the 
kingdom of Herod in Palestine was required to pay tribute to 
Rome, but critics deny that the decree of Augustus applied 
to Syria, and if it did, not to Palestine. Herod was in high 
favor with Augustus, but he came near losing his crown and 
his head when he sent Nicolaus of Damascus to Augustus, to 
defend him against the charge of treason against Rome made 
by Syllseus in the matter of the Arabian uprising. 2 Herod was, 
after all, only a vassal king. Herod knew after that beyond 
question that his was a dependent kingdom, as were all king 
doms in the Roman Empire. But if the order of Augustus 
for a general census came shortly after his estrangement, 
Herod would naturally be a bit reluctant to respond readily. 
It was a bitter pill, no doubt, for Herod and for the Jews to 
swallow, for it was a public and general acknowledgment of 
subjection to Rome. 

5. The Census. In particular it has been objected that 
Augustus never ordered a general census of the empire. Ram 
say 3 is careful to note precisely what Luke does say. He does 
not represent Augustus as ordering " that a single census should 
be held of the whole Roman world," but "there went out a 
decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be 
enrolled." 4 Ramsay properly insists on the present tense of 
"should be enrolled." Malalas 5 wrongly uses the aorist tense 
in referring to what Luke says. "It is not stated or implied 
by Luke that the system was actually put into force univer 
sally. The principle of universal enrolments for the empire 
was laid down by Augustus; but universal application of the 
principle is not mentioned. That point was a matter of indif 
ference to Luke." 6 But, while this is true, the natural infer 
ence from Luke s words is that the principle was applied and 
that there was a regular system of periodic censuses not only 

1 Was Christ Born at Bethlehem ?, pp. 118-124. 

2 Cf. Josephus, Ant. XV, x. 

3 Was Christ Born at Bethlehem ?, p. 123. 

4 IJjtjXOsv B6f[jia xap<i xafaapo? A&yo&JTau dcxoYP<fc<i>sa0ai xacav T^V ofxou^vrjv. 

5 Quoted by Ramsay, ibid., p. 124. dxoypa<i>ijvac. 

6 Ramsay, Was Christ Born at Bethlehem ?, p. 125. 


for Syria and Palestine, but for the whole of the empire. Be 
sides, we now know, what Ramsay did not in 1898, that Augus 
tus s bold governmental plan for a census was successful. We 
have evidence for its operation in both West and East, though 
most for the East. 1 

But twenty years ago we had no knowledge of such a period 
ical census system in the Roman Empire. "The idea that 
such a system could have existed in the East, without leaving 
any perceptible signs of its existence in recorded history, would 
have been treated with ridicule, as the dream of a fanatical 
devotee, who could believe anything and invent anything in 
the support of the testimony of Luke." 2 But epigraphic and 
archaeological research has proven this very thing, and Luke 
stands vindicated before all the world against a generation of 
infallible critics who applied the argument from silence against 
him with deadly effect. Was there such a periodical enrol 
ment in the Syrian province ? Was Christ born at Bethlehem 
at the time of the first of the series ? Ramsay 3 frankly admits 
that Luke s "credit as a historian is staked on this issue." 
Luke not only speaks of "the first enrolment" 4 in Luke 2 : 2, 
but in Acts 5 : 37 he speaks of "the days of the enrolment." 5 
In Acts 5:37 Luke means by "the census" the great census, 
"the epoch-making census taken about A. D. 7, when Judea 
had just been incorporated in the Roman Empire as part of 
the province of Syria." 6 Luke is clearly committed to the 
idea of a distinction between the first census in Luke 2 : 2 and 
the great census in Acts 5 : 37. Is he correct ? 

The proof is at hand. Ramsay 7 shows that already Clement 
of Alexandria "knew of some system of enrolment, either in 
the empire as a whole, or at least in the province of Syria. His 

1 Ramsay, Bearing of Recent Discovery, p. 246. 

2 Ramsay, Was Christ Born at Bethlehem ?, p. 126. 

3 Ibid., p. 127. 

4 dxoYpa^fj rcpt&TYj. A very large number of the papyri are census papers. 
The oldest certainly dated is probably A. D. 34, but P. Oxy., II, 254 
"probably belongs to A. D. 20" (Moulton and Milligan, Vocabulary, 
p. 60). Grenfell and Hunt think that P. Oxy., II., 256 may even belong 
to A. D. 6. A very early instance of the annual household enrolment, 
XOCT otxfov dhcorpa(|>Tj, is seen in P. Petr., Ill, 59 (d), of the Ptolemaic period. 

8 Ramsay, Was Christ Born at Bethlehem?, p. 127. 

7 Ibid., p. 128. Clement s words (Strom, I, 21, 147) mean this: foe TPWTO 


use of the plural and the word first force this inference upon 
us." Clement of Alexandria lived, of course, in Egypt and 
knew conditions there. Did he have any other information 
than that which Luke gives us ? He makes the definite state 
ment that the system of enrolments in Syria began with the 
one at which the birth of Jesus took place. 1 

It had been suggested that the "Indictional Periods" of 
fifteen years, known in the fourth century (see Rainer Papyri), 
began with the first census of Quirinius. 2 If so, the first cen 
sus would come B. C. 3. But three scholars, 3 one after the 
other, made the discovery that fourteen years was the cycle 
for the enrolments in Egypt in the early Roman empire. The 
same Greek word occurs in the papyri that Luke employs for 
" enrolment." 4 The actual census papers have been found for 
these enrolments in Egypt. "It is proved that enrolments 
were made for the years ending in the summer of A. D. 90, 104, 
118, 132 and so on till 230." 5 No papyrus as yet shows a 
census for A. D. 76 under Vespasian, but it is obvious that one 
was held. 

"Actual census papers have been found of the periodic year 
62 (and also 34) after Christ. Indirect references occur to the 
census of A. D. 20 and 48. Grenfell and Hunt rightly argue 
that Augustus must have originated this cycle. Beyond this 
there is no certainty, and we must await the discovery of fresh 
material." 6 The next census would be A. D. 6, the one that 
Luke mentions in Acts 5 : 37. The first census (Luke 2 : 2) 
would then come B. C. 8. An enrolment paper has been found 
in Egypt with the same officials that belong to the sixth year 
of Tiberius. "Hence the paper belongs to the census of 
A. D. 20 and proves conclusively my theory as to the origin 
of the Periodic Enrolments from Augustus." 7 Surely, after the 
overwhelming evidence of the papyri on the periodical enrol 
ments in Egypt, one hardly has the hardihood to accuse Luke 
of error in mentioning the first two, for which as yet we have 

1 Ramsay, Was Christ Barn at Bethlehem ?, p. 129. 

2 Ibid., p. 130. 

3 Kenyon, Classical Review, March, 1893, p. 110; Wilcken, Hermes, 
1893, pp. 203 ff.; Viereck, Philologus, 1893, pp. 219 ff. 
4 dc-rcoYpa^Tfj. 
6 Ramsay, Was Christ Born at Bethlehem ?, p. 132. 

6 Ramsay, Bearing of Recent Discovery, p. 256. 

7 Ramsay, Was Christ Born at Bethlehem ?, p. x. 


no papyri data. The inference is now wholly on Luke s side 
and in his favor. The Augustan census system 1 has been 
established by irrefragable evidence. 

It is true that B. C. 8 comes too soon for the other evidence 
for the birth of Jesus, which points to B. C. 6-5 as the probable 
time. But it has to be remembered that in Egypt and Asia 
Minor the year began, not January 1, as in Rome, "but on 
some day in the late summer and autumn." 2 We have seen 
that Herod sat uneasily on his throne in Judea. He had to 
please both Augustus and the Jews. The Jews hated the 
Roman yoke and Roman customs and held tenaciously to 
their own traditions. The second census after the deposition 
of Archelaus in A. D. 6 caused incipient insurrection against 
Rome, as Josephus tells us (Ant. XVIII, 1:1). Hence it is 
more than probable that the census was slow in moving off in 
Palestine. Herod would postpone it as long as he could and 
until brought to time by Augustus. The first census, besides, 
would be harder to execute on time. Ramsay 3 tells us that 
"the first enrolment in Syria was made in the year 8-7 B. C., 
but a consideration of the situation in Syria and Palestine 
about that time will show that the enrolment in Herod s 
Kingdom was probably delayed for some time later." Besides, 
Herod was probably a year or more in putting it through after 
it was started in Palestine. There is, therefore, no real difficulty 
as to the date. The new discoveries concerning the cycle of 
the Augustan census will allow a date around 6-5 B. C., and 
that is in accord with what we know otherwise concerning the 
date of Christ s birth. Turner in his article on "Chronology 
of the New Testament" (Hastings s Dictionary of the Bible) 
concludes by five converging lines of evidence that 7-6 B. C. 
is the probable date of the birth of Jesus. Luke has met a 
triumphant vindication in the fact of the census cycle under 
Augustus and Christ s birth at the time of the first. But the 
critics are not yet done with this famous passage in Luke 2 : 1-7. 

6. The Enrolment by Households. Luke says (2:3): " And 
all went to enroll themselves, every one to his own city." It is 
charged that, even if there was a Roman census by Augustus, 

1 Rainsay devotea Chap. XX to this subject (Bearing of Recent Dis 
covery, pp. 255-274). 

2 Ramsay, Bearing of Recent Discovery, p. 255. 

3 Was Christ Born at Bethlehem f, p. 174. 


the people would not have to go to their homes for the enrol 
ment to be made. And even if Joseph went, he did not have 
to take Mary, " to enrol himself with Mary who was betrothed 
to him" (2:5). So the critics made merry with Luke s pious 
fiction and legend to make it appear that Jesus was born at 
Bethlehem in Judea instead of in Nazareth. 1 Plummer in his 
great Commentary on Luke in 1896 stands by Luke s veracity, 
though he is not able to show that it is true (p. 46): "How 
Bethlehem came to be the Birthplace of Jesus Christ, although 
Nazareth was the Home of His Parents. This explanation has 
exposed Luke to an immense amount of criticism, which has 
been expressed and sifted in a manner that has produced a 
voluminous literature." 

But once again Luke is vindicated in his view that it was 
a household enrolment. The periodic enrolment shown in 
Egypt 2 was by households. The Romans had the annual 
enrolments for property valuations as we do, but every four 
teen years the enrolment by households took place, like our 
ten-year census, in which one "gave a complete enumeration 
of all individuals who lived in the house, children, relatives, 
etc. In one case twenty-seven persons are enumerated in one 
paper by a householder." 3 

But why did Joseph and Mary and all the rest go to their 
homes ? We take our census in the homes as the Romans did. 
Well, for one thing, it was done in Egypt. In Deissmann s 
Light from the Ancient East (1910, tr., pp. 268 ff.) the proof is 
found "that this was no mere figment of St. Luke or his author 
ity, but that similar things took place in his age." Deissmann 
adds: "Perhaps the most remarkable discovery of this kind 
in the new texts is a parallel found some time ago to the state 
ment in Luke 2 : 3, which has been so much questioned on the 
strength of mere book learning." It is an edict of G. Vibius 
Maximus, governor of Egypt, 104 A. D.: "The enrolment by 
household being at hand, it is necessary to notify all who for 
any cause are outside their homes to return to their domestic 
hearths, that they may also accomplish the customary dispen 
sation of enrolment and continue steadfastly in the husbandry 

1 So Loisy, Les Evangiles synoptiqiies, I, p. 169, calls it "un anachronisme" 
"pour faire naltre le Christ dans la patrie de David." 

2 The title is always dtxoypa^ XOCT obdav. 

8 Ramsay, Was Christ Born at Bethlehem ?, p. 146. 


that belongeth to them." This is certainly a most amazing 
vindication of the record in Luke. Deissmann (p. 269) com 
ments on the "cultural parallelism between Egypt and the 
birthplace of Christianity." 

It is really not necessary to give further proof of Luke s 
accuracy on this score. But Ramsay makes a sharp distinc 
tion between the enrolment in Luke 2 : 1-7 and that in Acts 
5 : 37. The latter was a census and a valuation of property 
because Palestine was now hi A. D. 6 made a Roman province. 
"But the census of Herod was tribal and Hebraic, not anti- 
national. It was wholly and utterly unconnected with any 
scheme of Roman taxation." l The "Roman census would be 
made according to the existing political and social facts, and 
would not require that persons be enrolled according to their 
place of birth or origin." 2 We have only to think that Herod 
agreed to the first census on condition that it be a tribal cen 
sus of the various families, a thing that the Jews were used to 
and would not resent so much. "And Joseph also went up 
from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the 
city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of 
the house and family of David" (Luke 2:4). If that system 
of household enrolment with the "return to their domestic 
hearths" was allowed in Egypt, it would surely not be refused 
in Palestine. The proof, once more, is complete. Luke has 
not made up his facts to suit a theory. He has told the facts 
as they occurred and has given the precise reason for the 
journey of Joseph from Nazareth to Bethlehem, "because he 
was of the house and family of David." The enrolment in 
Palestine is both by household (the Roman method) and by 
tribes (the Jewish). 

But it is still objected that Mary need not have gone along 
with Joseph. "It remains difficult to understand why Mary 
should have accompanied Joseph, especially if it be a fact that 
she was at that time only ( betrothed to him." 3 Luke does 
not plainly say that Mary was enrolled with Joseph, though 
that is the natural way to take his language "to enroll him 
self with Mary." 4 The Sinaitic Syriac manuscript does say, 

1 Ramsay, Was Christ Born at Bethlehem ?, p. 108. 2 Ibid., p. 106. 

3 Carpenter, Christianity According to S. Luke, p. 153. 

4 dxoYpdtJwccjOat cdv Mapufy.. Plummer (Comm., p. 52) says that civ Mapufy. 
must be taken with dcv^rj, three lines away. But that is wholly unnatural. 


"because they were both of the house of David." That I 
believe to be the fact. I think also that Luke gives the gene 
alogy of Mary, while Matthew gives that of Joseph. At any 
rate Mary "would be anxious at all risks not to be separated 
from Joseph," and "after what is related in Matt. 1:19 he 
would not leave her at this crisis." 1 It is pertinent also to 
think that both Joseph and Mary would be anxious for the 
child to be born in Bethlehem, since he was to be the Messiah 
of promise. Before the birth of Queen Victoria her father 
made it a point to get the mother back on English soil, so that 
the possible heir to the British crown should be born in Britain. 
Ramsay 2 thinks that "the wife, as well as the head of the 
house, had to go to the proper city (or for some reason felt it 
her duty to go), so that the household as a whole might be 
numbered in the tribal and family centre." Certainly, these 
are reasons enough to justify Mary in her course. But, alas, 
Wilcken calls the narrative a legend, "because every detail 
has been demonstrated to be historically correct. There is 
no way of satisfying those people who have made up their 
minds." 3 

7. The Problem of Quirinius. This has been the hardest 
tangle to unravel of all in the tissue of errors woven round 
Luke 2 : 1-7. Luke seemed so obviously in error. "This was 
the first enrolment made when Quirinius was governor of Syria" 
(Luke 2:2). He himself in Acts 5:37 refers to "the enrol 
ment" when Judas of Galilee rose up and drew away some of 
the people after him and perished. We know that Quirinius 
was governor of Syria in A. D. 6, when that census was taken 
which so angered the Jews (Josephus, Ant. XVIII, i, 1). 
Hence it was argued that Luke simply blundered and dated 
this census under Quirinius at the time of the birth of Christ, 
instead of A. D. 6. Lake 4 actually argues that the birth of 
Jesus occurred A. D. 6, but that view is wholly unlikely to 
win favor. Plummer 5 says about Quirinius: "We must be 
content to leave the difficulty unsolved," but he considers it 
"monstrous" to throw away the whole narrative because of 
this "mistake as to Cyrenius." 

1 Plummer, Comm., p. 53. 

2 Was Christ Born at Bethlehem?, p. 101. 

8 Ramsay, Bearing of Recent Discovery, p. 273. 

* The Expositor, Nov., 1912, pp. 462 f . 5 Comm., p. 50. 


It is Ramsay again who has cleared the matter of confusion 
by a series of inscriptions that bear on the career of Quirinius. 
"The conclusion of Mommsen, of Borghesi, and of de Rossi, 
that Quirinius governed Syria twice has been generally ac 
cepted by modern scholars. " l The "Lapis Tiburtinus" is 
accepted as referring to Quirinius, 2 and contains the words 
"iterum Syriam," "a second time Syria." The Inscriptions of 
^Emilius Secundus (Lapis Vendusf have "P. Sulpicio Quirinio 
legatus Augusti Ccesaris" and "idem jussu Quirini censum" 
It is not clear to which of the two times when Quirinius was 
governor in Syria this inscription about the census refers. 

But Ramsay 4 gives an inscription from Antioch in Pisidia, 
examined by himself in 1912 and in 1913 and photographed 
by Lady Ramsay, which speaks of Gaius Coristanius Pronto 
as "prefect of P. Sulpicius Quirinius duumvir."* This inscrip 
tion belongs to the date B. C. 10-7. In the village of Hissar- 
ardi, close to Antioch, Ramsay found another inscription 6 
where the same man is called "prefect of P. Sulpicius Quirinius 
duumvir" and "chief of engineers, tribune of soldiers, prefect 
of a Bosporan cohort," and also "prefect of M. Servilius." 
This inscription shows "Quirinius as engaged in the war (the 
Homonadensian War), and therefore as governor of Syria 
before 6 B. C." "It is also a crowning step in the proof that 
the story in Luke 2 : 1-3 is correct." The proof is complete 
that Quirinius was twice "governor" in Syria, though not 
necessarily in the same way each time. Luke does not say 
that Quirinius was propraetor or procurator in the first census, 
but only governor. 

"Thus Quirinius and Servilius were governing the two ad 
joining provinces, Syria-Cilicia and Galatia, around the year 
8 B. C., when the First Census was made." 7 Surely, it is a 
remarkable demonstration. "The exact year is a matter of 
chronological interest; it was in the reign of King Herod. 
Every circumstance narrated by Luke has been conclusively 
shown to be natural and probable. The circumstances are 
those which ordinarily accompanied a Roman census, and 

1 Ramsay, Was Christ Barn at Bethlehem ?, p. 109. 

/&#., p. 273. *Ibid., p. 274. 

4 Ramsay, Bearing of Recent Discovery, p. 285. 

6 Prcefecto P. Sulpici Quirini duumviri. 6 Ibid., p. 291. 

7 Ramsay, Bearing of Recent Discovery, p. 300. 


Quirinius was in office about that time for several years." 1 
For all these years the record in Luke 2 : 1-7 has stood all by 
itself, the butt of ridicule by historians and theologians. Now 
the rubbish-heaps of Egypt and the stones of Asia Minor cry 
aloud in support of the narrative. The enemies of Luke are 
put to rout. 

But it may still be said that Tertullian (Adv. Marc., iv, 19) 
states that Jesus was bora when Sentius Saterninus was gov 
ernor of Syria (B. C. 9-6). But Ramsay has a ready solution 
for this objection. He admits that Tertullian attempts to 
correct Luke because "the first periodic enrolment of Syria 
was made under Saterninus in B. C. 8-7. The enrolment of 
Palestine was delayed by the census described until the late 
summer or autumn of B. C. 6. At that time Varus was con 
trolling the internal affairs of Syria, while Quirinius was con 
trolling its armies and directing its foreign policy." Tertullian 
"inferred too hastily" that the enrolment in Palestine was 
made under Saterninus. "Luke, more accurately, says that 
the enrolment of Palestine was made while Quirinius was act 
ing as leader in Syria." Once it seemed a hopeless task to 
clear up all the blunders charged against Luke in these verses. 
But it has been done. If Ramsay had done nothing else for 
New Testament scholarship, his name would deserve to be 
cherished wherever Luke is known and loved. Luke is shown 
to be the careful and accurate historian that he professed to 
be. There is a veritable romance in the discovery of scraps 
of papyri in Egypt that confirm Luke concerning the census 
system of Augustus, which is ignored by all the ancient histo 
rians except Luke, the greatest of them all. 



"And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he gave 
him to his mother" (Luke 7 : 15). 

There is no doubt that the miracles of Jesus greatly attracted 
Luke. Was he credulous in his report of the wonders wrought 
by Jesus ? They puzzle us and they probably puzzled him. 
We do not have to think of miracle as a violation of the laws 
of nature. God is the source of all power and of all the laws 
of nature. They are all expressions of his will. If a personal 
God controls the universe, there is no real objection to believ 
ing that he can do what he wills to do at any time. The mod 
ern theory of evolution is not less, but more, favorable to the 
belief in miracle (Garvie, Hastings s One Vol. Diet, of the Bible}. 
Sanday says: "I fully believe that there were miracles in the 
age of the Gospels and Acts, in the sense of wonderful works 
or mighty works/ But I do not think that they involve any 
real breach of the order of nature" (Divine Overruling, p. 66). 
He thinks that miracles can be explained as all in harmony 
with laws of nature, that were once unknown, except those 
that have been exaggerated in the telling. It is not necessary 
for us to be able to explain the miracle in order for it to be 
true. We must remember that God is greater than the laws 
of nature and that our knowledge of nature and of God is still 
very limited. It is doubtless true that some miracles then 
would not be called miracles by us to-day. The heart of the 
question is whether God ever interposes at all with his personal 
will. I believe that he does and that is miracle. 

1. Luke a Man of Science. This point has been made before, 
but it is well to stress it again just here, for the fact has been 
often overlooked. Luke s witness to the miracles of Jesus has 
been brushed aside as the credulous ignorance of a non-scien 
tific age. Each age plumes itself upon the scientific progress 
over the rest. The word science is simply Latin for the Greek 
gnosis, our knowledge. Progress in knowledge has not been 

1 The Christian Worker s Magazine, June, 1920. 


steady and uninterrupted and uniform. Reactions and lapses 
come. The Renaissance followed the Dark Ages. The Dark 
Ages belong to the Christian era and succeeded a period of 
pagan enlightenment. We must not forget that Plato and 
Aristotle lived long before Luke s day. In the spring and sum 
mer semester of 1905 at the University of Oxford over a hun 
dred courses of lectures on Aristotle were offered. Aristotle is 
still king in the realm of pure intellect. The late Doctor W. H. 
Whitsitt, for long Professor of Church History and then 
President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, used 
to talk to his classes of the time when "Plato was king in Zion" 
and then of the time when "Aristotle was king in Zion." 
Both Plato and Aristotle have left their mark on Christian 

Not simply was Luke a man of general culture, a university 
man familiar with current literature and literary methods, 
but he was a man of technical training. Since Hobart s re 
searches concerning the medical language of Luke, it is no 
longer possible to treat Luke as a "quack," a charlatan, or an 
ignorant practitioner; He was a trained physician like Galen 
and Hippocrates, and is one of the best products of Greek cul 
ture. So far as we know, he was the first man of science to 
grapple with the facts and forces of faith and science. He was 
superbly equipped for his task. He had a passion for the 
truth, for the facts of nature and of grace. "No other man 
of his time was so well fitted to judge r ; ghtly in questions in 
volving both science and faith; and this ability sprang from 
the nature of his vivid and varied Greek mentality." 1 So 
then we approach Luke s report of the miracles of Jesus with 
sincere interest. "His testimony to the miracles is, therefore, 
the nearest thing possible to the evidence which has often been 
desired in that of a man of science." 2 

And yet Luke is discounted by some for the very reason 
that he is a physician. So Harnack 3 instances the healing of 
Malchus s ear as a case in point: "This is a flagrant instance of 
the way in which a story of a miracle has arisen, and of what 
we expect from Luke. He certainly is not following a separate 
source here; but because he thinks it ought to have been so, 

1 Homan, Luke the Greek Physician, p. 12. 

2 Wace, Intr. St. Bible Encycl (art. "Miracles"). 

3 Luke the Physician, p. 187, note 4. 


he makes it happen so." That is simply intolerable in Har- 
nack. Luke is here ranked no higher than a peddler of tales 
or a writer of mediaeval miracle-plays, or a dispenser of marvel 
lous cures by a group of "Christian Science" dupes. When 
Luke has been vindicated by modern research against the 
whole array of historians and critics who attacked Luke 2 : 1-7, 
he is entitled to be heard on his own account before it is assumed 
that he is incompetent and insincere and even hypocritical. 
Percy Gardner 1 follows the cue of Harnack and says: "But 
when we speak of him as a physician, the modern mind is apt 
to be misled, and to attribute to him a scientific education, 
and methods of investigation such as are commonly used in 
the great schools of medicine. From this point of view our 
author is very far removed." Luke, to be sure, did not know 
the evolutionary hypothesis or the germ theory of disease, but 
he did have the Greek physician s love of the study of actual 
cases and of drawing his theories from the facts. This is the 
heart of scientific progress and Luke is in the line of succession. 
Gardner 2 even says, "He loves a good miracle," as if to dis 
credit Luke s testimony on the subject. Carpenter 3 accepts 
this view of Luke: "Physician though he was, he was uncritical 
about miracles." Again: 4 "He was undoubtedly what we 
should call a truthful person, but it cannot be pretended that 
he had the scientific zeal of the best modern historians. He 
took pains to ascertain facts, but he was not alive to some 
of the perils that surround historical inquiry." But I submit 
that the new discoveries justify precisely this claim concerning 

It is not "pretended" that he had modern views of science 
and medicine, nor will a true scientist to-day pretend that 
present-day theories are finalities. The twentieth century has 
brought a more reverent temper on the part of scientists con 
cerning both God and man. No one claims that he has dis 
covered the ultimate facts concerning nature. The very 
"atom," once thought to be absolute and indivisible, is now 
divided into electrons. Modern chemists, like the alchemists 
of Luke s day, claim to be able to transmute metals by the aid 
of radium, and to make diamonds to order out of charcoal. 
He is a bold man to-day who will dare to say what man can or 

1 Cambridge Biblical Essays, p. 386. * Ibid., p. 390, 

* Christianity According to S. Luke, p. 83. *Ibid, p. 82. 


cannot do. The Atlantic Ocean has been spanned by the 
aeroplane in a single flight. One disease after another is con 
quered by science. Shall we limit the power of God while we 
enlarge the powers of man? It is easier to believe in mighty 
works by God because man himself has achieved so much. If 
there is a God at all, He is greater than any man or than all 
men. He is greater than the universe about us. We see the 
influence of spirit upon matter in our own bodies. It is easier 
to understand how God who is Spirit rules over matter and 
makes all things subject to His will. There has never been a 
day when it was easier to believe in miracles than now and 
harder to tell what is a miracle. We can well believe that 
some of the miracles wrought by Jesus would not be called 
miracles by all men to-day. The use of language varies with 
the growth of ideas. The fundamental question is the fact 
of Jesus (his birth, his work, his teaching, his character, his 
resurrection from the dead, his power to-day over the lives of 

At bottom we face the same problem that Luke faced. In 
reality we know not one whit more concerning the ultimate 
reality than Luke did. The new knowledge of our day has 
filled us with awe in the presence of God. It is no disgrace for 
us to-day to bow before the fact of God in Christ as Luke did. 
We must open our minds to learn all we can, but the pride of 
intellectual arrogance must not blind us to the glory of God in 
Christ. Luke saw God at work in Christ the Great Physician. 
No physician to-day can tell precisely how medicine cures 
disease or what part the mind plays in the cure, or how far the 
will of God operates in the whole, both in the fight that nature 
makes and in the special exercise of His will in the individual 
case. The physician himself often rouses the will of the 
patient to victory over disease. Can God not do the same ? 

2. Luke as an Eye-Witness of Paul s Miracles. Carpenter 1 
has a curious comment concerning Paul s view of miracles: 
"It may readily be conceded that S. Paul s attitude toward 
the miraculous is much truer than S. Luke s." That remark 
can only mean that Paul is sceptical concerning the miraculous 
or that Luke is credulous. But Paul claimed that he himself 
wrought miracles, a thing that Luke never does. "Truly the 
signs of the apostle were wrought among you with all patience, 
1 Christianity According to S. Luke, p. 83. 


by signs and wonders and mighty works" (II Cor. 12:12). 
Paul here employs precisely the three words 1 that Luke reports 
Peter as using in his address at the great Pentecost (Acts 2 : 22). 
So in Romans 15 : 18 f. Paul speaks of what the Holy Spirit 
wrought through him among the Gentiles "in the power of 
signs and wonders." We have Paul s first-hand testimony 
concerning his own miracles. Besides, Paul testifies to the 
greatest of all miracles in his own experience, the vision of the 
Risen Christ (I Cor. 9 : 1; 15 : 8; Gal. 1 : 16). Paul even claims 
that some of his own converts wrought miracles (I Cor. 12 : 9 f ., 
28-30; 14:22; Gal. 3:5). These instances all come from 
Paul s universally acknowledged Epistles. It is hard to set 
aside the witness of a man of Paul s intellectual acumen. 
There were " Counterfeit Miracles " (Warfield) then as there are 
now, but Paul s miracles do not come in that category. 

We have other autoptic witnesses to the miracles. Mark s 
Gospel reports Peter s description of the miracles of Jesus. If 
John the Apostle is the author of the Fourth Gospel, we have 
another eye-witness to the miracles of Jesus. See John 21 : 24. 
In John s Gospel we have healings of the sick (4 : 16 ff.; 5:8; 
6:2; 9 : 6 f .), raising the dead (11:44), the Resurrection of 
Christ (20 and 21) and miracles over inanimate nature (2:9; 
6 : 11 f., 19; 21: 6). 

Percy Gardner 2 thinks that Luke " was attracted to the new 
faith by its power over disease and evil spirits." Even so, we 
have no right to say that Luke was "taken in" by Paul s "pre 
tense" to work miracles. Luke not only had Paul s word 
for working miracles, but in the "we" sections of Acts Luke 
records miracles which he himself witnessed. "It should 
always be borne in mind that they are recorded by a physician, 
who was an eye-witness of them." 3 In these cases, therefore, 
we have a sort of double proof, Paul s general claim that he 
worked miracles and Luke s testimony to seeing him do them. 
It is wholly gratuitous to say that Luke s judgment as a his 
torian lapsed when miracles came before him. Let us examine 
some of the cases in question and see if Luke s treatment of the 
miracles wrought by Paul disqualifies him for discussing in a 
credible manner the miracles of Jesus. 

xctl t^paccv xal 
2 Cambridge Biblical Essays, p. 386. 
8 Wace, Intr. St. Bible Encycl (art. "Miracles"). 


The cure of the ventriloquist girl (Acts 16 : 18) is in point. 
The poor girl had a "python." 1 Plutarch says that a ventrilo 
quist was called a python. The slave girl may have been 
diseased in her mind and was the object of superstition and the 
victim of a group of men who exploited her fortune-telling for 
gain as men, alas, exploit girls for base gain. The poor girl 
troubled Paul, Luke and the rest, "the same following after 
Paul and us" (Acts 16:17). Luke reports Paul as charging 
"the spirit in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. 
And it came out that very hour." The whole subject of 
demonology is a dark one, but modern scientists are no longer 
so positive that evil spirits cannot dominate human beings. 
Luke saw the cure of this girl, sudden and instantaneous. 

Luke was a witness also of the earthquake and the release of 
the prisoners, with the consequent conversion of the jailer 
(Acts 16 : 26-34). He does not report the earthquake as a 
miracle, but as a dispensation of providence for Paul and 

Luke saw Paul restore to life the lad who had fallen out of 
the window at Troas during Paul s long sermon (Acts 20 : 9-12). 
Luke is careful here in his language. He says the boy was 
" taken up dead," but he implies that Paul brought him round 
to life and not by medical means. Luke was evidently greatly 

We have already discussed Luke s description of Paul s 
shaking off the viper unharmed (Acts 28 : 5), which Ramsay 
considers a constrictor, a non-poisonous snake. But even so, 
that explanation cannot apply to the cure of Publius by Paul s 
prayer (Acts 28 : 8) and to Luke s further practice of medicine 
in the island (28 : 9 f.). Luke does not create the impression 
in these narratives that he is credulous and anxious to tell the 
marvellous. His language is restrained and simple and quite 
that of a scholar who weighs his words. 

3. Luke s Report of Miracles in Q and Mark. In Luke 
7 : 20-23 (= Matt. 11 : 4-6) Luke reports the record in Q (pos 
sibly by Matthew the publican, himself an eye-witness of the 
miracles of Jesus) of the words of Jesus concerning his miracles. 
The two messengers from the Baptist in prison brought his 
despairing question in his hour of gloom: "Art thou he that 
cometh or look we for another?" (Luke 7:19). But Jesus 


went on with his work, as if not heeding the inquiry. " In that 
hour he cured many of diseases and plagues and evil spirits; 
and on many that were blind he bestowed sight" (Luke 7 : 21). 
Then Jesus turned to the messengers and said : " Go your way, 
and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; the blind 
receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and 
the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good tid 
ings preached unto them." This was the cure for John s 
doubt and despair. 

We have seen that Q preserves the oldest tradition about 
Christ that we have. It may even belong to the time when 
Christ was alive on earth. There is no escape from the fact 
that Jesus claimed to work miracles and that people believed 
that he wrought them. Luke had seen Paul work miracles. 
He would not be prejudiced against the testimony for the mira 
cles of Jesus. But did he not sift the evidence for the miracles 
of Jesus, as he claims to have done (Luke 1 : 1-4) about every 
thing else? In Luke 7 : 1-10 (= Matt. 8 : 5-13) we certainly 
have a quite independent record of the same event that Mat 
thew narrates. Luke gives the two embassies from the cen 
turion to Jesus, while Matthew fails to bring out these details. 

Mark gives a detailed report of eighteen miracles of Jesus. 
Of these Luke also reports thirteen. Luke modifies the lan 
guage in certain instances, but he does not weaken the argu 
ment for the real interposition of divine power by Christ. 
Two of them are nature miracles (the stilling of the storm 
and the feeding of the five thousand). The rest (counting the 
drowning of the swine with the cure of the demoniac) are cases 
of healing. 

Few to-day will take the position of Hume that miracles 
cannot be proven, or even that of Huxley that we can know 
nothing about the matter at all. Fewer still assert that mira 
cles cannot happen. Goethe said that a voice from heaven 
would not convince him that water burned or that one rose 
from the dead. But water can be made to burn by certain 
chemicals. The more we know about nature and God the 
more modest we become in our dogmatic statements about 
God s limitations. Many are now willing to admit that Jesus 
cured nervous troubles by psychic force, since we have learned 
that the mind has a great influence on the body. Professor 
Hyslop even suggests that hospitals be set apart for the curing 


of certain forms of insanity by casting out demons. And then 
many cases of insanity are now cured by pulling out diseased 
teeth. So we learn slowly. But demoniacal possession is no 
longer scouted by all scientists. 

We must remember that nothing is miraculous to God or 
Christ. With God and Christ nothing is miraculous because 
all the forces of knowledge and of power are at their com 
mand. If we had all knowledge and all power, nothing would 
be miraculous to us. Christ was not limited to the powers 
and laws known to us. If God made the universe, all the laws 
of nature come from him. He still exercises sway over them. 
Paul says that all things have been created through Christ 
and unto Christ and all things hold together in Christ (Col. 
1 : 16-17). It is a Christocentric universe. Christ is Lord of 

If modern science could learn all the secrets of nature, and 
by the use of the laws of God do the things that Jesus did, 
surely this would not disprove the cures wrought by Jesus or 
his claim to divine energy in doing them. "My Father work- 
eth even until now, and I work" (John 5: 17). With amaze 
ment and with difficulty we unlock a few of the mysteries of 
nature and pride ourselves on our own attainments. Jesus 
played with the forces of nature as a master musician. The 
more we learn of the marvels of nature, the more we marvel at 
Jesus. There is only one explanation of his person and his 
claim and his prowess. He was the Son of God. 

4. Five Cases of Healing in Luke Alone. Of the thirty-five 
miracles described in detail in the Gospels Luke gives twenty. 
Of the twenty-six miracles of healing Luke gives sixteen and 
five are peculiar to him. For discussion on these, see Chapter 
VII, " The Medical Language of Luke." These five excited the 
special interest of Luke. They were all chronic or incurable 
cases like the old woman with curvature of the spine (Luke 
13 : 10-17), the man with the dropsy (14 : 1-6), the ten lepers 
(17:11-19), the case of surgery (22:51), and the restoration 
to life of the son of the widow of Nain (7 : 11-17). They were 
all cured instantaneously by Jesus and were genuine miracles. 
Not one of these was a case of nervous disorder. These can 
not be explained by any theory of modern psychology. Luke 
was a psychologist, like all true physicians, but he has no hesi 
tation in recording these cases that go beyond all human 


power now as then. Luke alone reports the remarkable case 
of the raising of the son of the widow of Nain. The funeral 
procession was stopped and the boy given back to his mother. 
It is one of the tenderest touches in the Gospels. It manifestly 
touched the heart of Luke. "There is no need to prove that 
the representation of our Lord given in the Third Gospel is 
dominated by the conception of Him as the wondrous Healer 
and Saviour of the sick, as, indeed, the Healer above all heal 
ers." l But we are not at liberty to distort this fact into mean 
ing that Luke attributed supernatural powers to Christ in 
order to create that impression. We may, if we will, say that 
Luke was incompetent to distinguish a miracle from an ordi 
nary case of healing or was a poor judge of evidence, though 
our opinion makes no change in the facts of the case. Gilbert 2 
endeavors to explain away Luke s belief in the miraculous: 
"We cannot doubt that Luke, who was little interested in the 
miraculous element . . . was profoundly moved by what he 
learned of the depth and the universality of the Master s sym 
pathy." But how does Gilbert know that Luke took little 
interest "in the miraculous element"? Percy Gardner says 
that Luke loved a good miracle so much that he would lug it 
in to brighten his narrative. It is hard to satisfy critics of 
Luke. Luke gives no evidence of being an excitable physician 
or a poor diagnostician. He writes calm and serious history 
after prolonged and thorough research. We are bound to give 
due weight to what he records as true, whether we accept it or 
not. It is easier to ask questions than to answer them. Who 
to-day can tell what is the origin of life, or the true nature of 
life, or what death is and means? 

5. Miracles of Christ Over Nature. Luke did not hesitate to 
record evidences of the power of Christ over animate and 
inanimate nature outside of man. It is here that some mod 
ern scientists take a more positive stand against miracles. 
Possible explanations have been offered for some of the mira 
cles of healing, so that men of science are less sceptical about 
the rest. But it must never be overlooked that the fact of 
the miracles of Jesus by no means depends upon our being 
able to offer intelligible theories about them. They may thus 
be rendered easier for some men to believe, but the miracles 
of Jesus are grounded on the central fact of God s mastery 

1 Harnack, Luke the Physician, p. 195. * Jesus, pp, 46 f. 


over nature. Jesus presents God as personal, ana not as an 
abstract philosophical conception or as misty pantheism. God 
is like Jesus as Jesus is like God. Personal will rules the uni 
verse, the Will of God expressed in his laws, but superior to 
his laws, the Source of all Energy and Life. This is the view 
of Jesus and he acts upon it. Luke accepts it and records 
proofs of Christ s power and claims. It is not unscientific 
that a real God should be at the heart of the universe. Mod 
ern scientists hesitate to say that God cannot or does not 
guide the universe by his Will. Wonderful powers have been 
discovered in certain forms of matter, like radium. We must 
either be materialists or spiritualists (in the proper use of this 
word). Either matter is eternal and self-sufficient and the 
source of life and energy, or God is eternal and before matter 
and the creator of matter and the guide of the universe. No 
one to-day conceives of a mechanical God who started the 
universe and then took his hand off of the machine. God is 
working to-day as much as ever. He works by his laws, by 
the laws of his own nature, some of which we have discovered. 
But he works on, whether we are ignorant or whether we know. 
Nothing is miraculous to God. His Will is the supreme law 
of the universe. It is thus an ordered world of law, but not a 
merciless machine that, like a juggernaut, overrides all. Pre 
sumption pays the price in such a universe. But we are not 
hopeless and helpless before the perils of nature red in tooth 
and claw. Law at bottom is love and God is love. God does 
not act by whims and caprice, but he is our Father. 

So Jesus lets the demons rush into the swine to save the man 
(Luke 8 : 33 f.). "He gave them leave," Luke says, following 
Mark s record (5: 13). Whatever our explanation of the rea 
son that prompted Jesus, Luke puts down what Mark has. 
The result proves that the people cared more for the hogs 
than they did for the poor demoniac, for they begged Jesus 
to leave their shores (Luke 8:37). It mattered little that 
the man was now clothed and in his right mind (8 : 35). This 
miracle is usually counted as one and the same with that of 
the Gerasene Demoniac. Huxley had his fun with Gladstone 
over "the Gadarene Pig Affair," but all the same hogs are sub 
ject to mass attacks like sheep and like mobs of men. Hux 
ley s point about Gerasa and Gadara vanishes, for we know 
that the village of Khersa (Gerasa) by the lake is meant (not 


Gerasa thirty miles away), the village tributary to Gadara 
some six miles distant. 

Luke alone gives the draft of fishes (5:1-11). Some 
critics find here another version of the draft of fishes in 
John 21 : 1-14, but without adequate justification. Peter plays 
a leading part both times, it is true, but that is not strange. 
One of the strangest of all theories is that of Schmiedel, who 
thinks that Luke is giving an allegory of Paul s conflict with 
the Judaizers about the Gentiles. 1 No wonder Carpenter 2 
calls this interpretation "an interesting example of the over- 
subtlety with which S. Luke can be treated." And that is 
termed scientific and historical exegesis! The allegorizing is 
that of Schmiedel, not of Luke. Luke (8 : 22-25) reports the 
stilling of the storm, following Mark s Gospel (4 : 35-41 = 
Matt. 8 : 23-27). The mastery of Christ over wind and wave 
is clearly shown to the marvel of the disciples, who gain a 
fresh revelation of the person and power of Jesus. 

The feeding of the five thousand is given in all the four 
Gospels, the only one of the miracles wrought by Jesus that 
is thus attested. Huxley does not ridicule this witness, which 
is on a par with the Resurrection of Christ in its full testi 
mony. And yet Luke records this amazing incident with 
much detail (9 : 10-17). Mark s Gospel here preserves the 
vivid details of Peter s description, the garden-beds and the 
green grass (Mark 6 : 39 f.), but Luke follows Mark with the 
orderly arrangement of the crowd and the manifest miracu 
lous multiplication of the loaves and the fishes in the presence 
of all the multitude. Jesus stood on the hillside and blessed 
and broke the loaves as the disciples rapidly bore and dis 
tributed the baskets. This miracle is a stumbling-block to all 
who believe in an absentee God or in no God. But we see 
here Jesus as Lord of nature and of man, with infinite pity 
and boundless power. He hastened or skipped the usual 
processes of nature. The miracle created a crisis in the min 
istry of Jesus and led to his withdrawal from Galilee, because 
of popular excitement and misunderstanding. It is hard to 
think that the great crowds were fed by a trick and so pur 
posely misled by Jesus. The picture of Jesus on the eastern 
slope of the Sea of Galilee near Bethsaida Julias challenged 

*Encyd. Bibl, pp. 4573-76 (art. "Simon Peter"). 
2 Op. cit., p. 84. 


the interest of Luke as it compels men to-day to pause. The 
crowd wanted to take him by force to Jerusalem and crown 
him political king, as the panacea for earthly ills. If we crown 
him king of our lives we shall find Jesus to be what Luke took 
him to be, the Great Physician for soul and body, the Saviour 
from sin and sickness, the Lord of all nature, the Giver of all 
grace and good, the Lord of life and of death. 



"And his disciples asked him what this parable might be" 
(Luke 8:9). 

It is not straining after effect to call Luke a man of literary 
tastes and habits. 1 There is a modern parallel to Luke in 
Doctor W. T. Grenfell, the Oxford University man who has 
given himself to work in Labrador as medical missionary, 
and who writes of life in Labrador with exquisite charm 
and grace. Luke knew the great literature of his time, one 
can well believe, and he had, besides, the sure touch of genius 
in the expression of his ideas. Sir W. Robertson Nicoll says 
that Mark Rutherford always found the right word in the 
right place. Luke was not a professional stylist. He did not 
strive after artificial effects, but he had full knowledge and 
fine discrimination. 

1. The Beauty of Christ s Parables. They made a powerful 
appeal to Luke. " It is one of the many signs of inferiority in 
the apocryphal gospels that they contain no parables. While 
they degrade miracles into mere arbitrary and unspiritual acts 
of power, they omit all that teaches of the deep relations be 
tween the seen and the unseen." 2 But, just as Luke was not 
credulous in reporting miracles, so he had the insight to see 
the worth of the parables of Jesus. The true biographer 
reveals himself in the choice that he makes of the material in 
his hands and in the skill with which he presents it to create 
the picture. 

There is a literary charm in Luke s report of Christ s para 
bles that marks his Gospel apart from the others. But the 
beauty of these parables is not due to the genius of Luke. 
There is a beauty in the Bible facts as well as in the Bible 
story. 3 Luke is faithful to Christ s words, and yet he gives a 

1 McLachlan (St. Luke) has his first chapter on "Luke the Man of 
Letters." "He is a man of literary attainment and scientific culture" 
(p. 8). 

2 Plummer, Hastings s D. B. ("Parable in the N. T."). 

8 Cf . Stalker, The Beauty of the Bibk. 



turn here and there in the setting of the story that one may 
call literary finish if he will. 

The literary perfection of the parables belongs to Jesus and 
appears in the parables in all the Gospels. Sanday calls the 
parables of Jesus the finest literary art of the world, combining 
simplicity, profundity, elemental emotion and spiritual inten 
sity. They were spoken chiefly in the Aramaic, and yet their 
originality is attested in the Greek translation and even in the 
English by their freshness, beauty and moral earnestness. 
They possessed a matchless charm for the people who heard 
them for the first time as they fell from the lips of the Master 
Story-teller of the ages. For sheer witchery of words and 
grip upon the mind and heart, the short stories of Jesus stand 
alone. Edgar Allan Poe, Hawthorne, Bret Harte, O. Henry 
and all the rest are on a lower plane. 

And yet Jesus did not invent parables. They are common 
in the Old Testament and in the Talmud. Some of the Jew 
ish rabbis were very fond of using them. Parables are com 
mon enough to-day. But Jesus is the master in the use of 
them. He made the parable preach his gospel "a picture- 
gospel" (Plummer). He knew "the book of nature and of 
human nature" and threw a flash-light on both by means of 
the parable. The people saw the sins and frailties of the 
Pharisees in the parables of Jesus, and then their own photo 
graphs stamped before their very eyes. The parables of Jesus 
were so vivid that they were like moving pictures of the soul. 
Augustine says that Christ s miracles are acted parables and 
his parables are miracles of beauty and instruction. John 
Foster says that the miracles of Jesus were like ringing the 
great bell of the universe for the people to come and listen. 
The parables caught their attention and drove the lesson 
home. Christ drew his parables from the life of the people. 
They are transcripts from the life of the time and so of all 
time. Those in Luke are the most wonderful and beautiful 
of all. If Luke loved a good miracle, he was equally fascinated 
by the parables of Jesus. 

2. Christ s Reasons for Using Parables. Scholars have 
sought to find one reason that covers all the ground. This is 
not possible, for Jesus himself gives two reasons for the use of 
so many parables after the blasphemous accusation by the 
Pharisees, when the atmosphere was electric with hostility. 


Jesus had frequently employed parabolic sayings and brief 
isolated parables before this "Busy Day." But on this occa 
sion "with many such parables spake he the word unto them, 
as they were able to hear it: and without a parable spake he 
not unto them: but privately to his disciples he expounded all 
things" (Mark 4 : 33 f.). There are nine given by the Synop 
tic Gospels and there were probably more. The very first 
one, the parable of the sower, puzzled the disciples so that 
they asked Jesus "what this parable might be" (Luke 8:9). 
Then Jesus explained why he spoke on this occasion in parables. 
It was a condemnation to the enemies of Christ " that 1 seeing 
they may not see, and hearing they may not understand" 
(Luke 8 : 10). And yet the same parable is meant to be a 
revelation to the disciples: "Unto you it is given to know the 
mysteries of the Kingdom of God" (Luke 8 : 10 = Mark 4:11 
= Matt. 13: 11). One thinks of the "mystery-religions" and 
their initiations and secrets, like modern Masons and other 
secret orders. Mark reports Jesus as saying: "But unto them 
that are without, all things are done in parables." The great 
est secret order of the world is the Kingdom of God. Jesus 
opens the mysteries of grace with no incantations and mock 
ing mummeries, but with the illumination of the Holy Spirit 
that floods the soul and the life with light. So the parables of 
Jesus were a pillar of cloud and darkness to the Pharisees, but 
of fire and light to the disciples when their eyes were opened 
to see. They were a spiritual smoke-screen to shut off those 
who were blaspheming Jesus. Thus Jesus keeps from casting 
pearls before swine (Matt. 7 : 6) and is able to go on with his 
teaching in an uncongenial atmosphere. Paul later noted 
that the gospel message was a savor of life unto life or of death 
unto death (II Cor. 2 : 17 if.)- It is literally true that preach 
ing hardens the heart, the eye, the ear, the mind, or stirs one 
to a richer life with God. Jesus himself was set for the falling 
and the rising of many in Israel, as old Simeon saw (Luke 2 : 34). 
But there are other reasons why Jesus used parables in his 
teaching. They served to put truth in crisp form that was 
easily remembered and that would be afterward understood. 
The story would stick and would hold the lesson that it car 
ried. The Apostles were not so well educated as the Pharisees. 

1 Both Mark (4 : 12) and Luke here have Tva, which may express pur 
pose or result (in the Koine"). Matthew (13 : 13) has 8-ci (because). 


They had less intellectual training and dialectical acumen, but 
they could catch the stories of Jesus, for they had less preju 
dice and fewer predilections. They did see the point of the 
parables after the private explanation by Jesus (Matt. 13 : 51). 

And then there is power in a good story to win attention 
and to hold it when interest begins to flag. Jesus had often 
to say "Listen," as the minds of his hearers began to wander 
or they were disconcerted. "If any man has ears to hear, let 
him hear" (Mark 4 : 23). "Take heed therefore how ye hear" 
(Luke 8 : 18), where Mark (4 : 24) has "what ye hear." 

Once more the parables of Jesus stimulated inquiry on the 
part of the disciples. On this very occasion the disciples 
twice asked him to explain his parables, that of the sower 
(Luke 8:9 = Mark 4 : 10 = Matt. 13 : 10) and that of the 
tares (Matt. 13 : 36). 

Jesus thus spoke in parables to the multitudes (Matt. 13 : 34) 
what he could not so well have said to a popular assembly 
already excited by the charges of the Pharisees. But the new 
style of teaching became a marked characteristic of the min 
istry of Jesus. 

3. The Meaning of Parables. The etymology of the word is 
simple enough. The Greek word 1 means to place beside for 
purpose of comparison. The parable 2 is thus a sort of measur 
ing-rod for spiritual and moral truth. Just as the yardstick 
measures off a yard of silk, so the parable takes a concrete 
example from life to illustrate the truth in mind. The word 
illustration is a Latin word and means to throw light upon a 
subject. This is the purpose, likewise, of parable. The little 
girl was not far wrong when she said that a parable was an 
earthly story with a heavenly meaning. The Hebrew word 
for parable (mashal) was used for a discourse that implied 
comparison. But the Hebrew term had a wide application. 
It might be similitude, allegory, proverb, paradox, or even 
riddle. So no one type covers all the uses of parable in the 
New Testament. 

The word is used in various ways in the Gospels. We have 
a proverb called parable by Jesus in Luke 4 : 23 : " Physician, 
heal thyself." There is analogy in such a proverb which the 

fj from 

2 John employs -jcapot^fa, a wayside saying, for shorter sayings of an 
obscure nature (John 16 : 25, 29) and for longer narratives (John 10 : 6). 


hearer must catch. So Luke terms Christ s proverb about 
the blind leading the blind a parable (Luke 6:39). Hence 
we can apply the word parable to the proverb of the reed 
shaken with the wind (Luke 7 : 24) and the green tree and the 
dry (23 : 31). See also the proverb of the whole and the sick 
(Luke 5 : 31 f.) and of the bridegroom (5 : 34). Jesus did not 
always call his parables by the word nor do the Gospels. See 
Luke 16 : 13 about serving two masters. Sometimes the 
similitude is drawn by the word "like" or "likened," as in the 
brief parable of the leaven (Luke 13 : 20 f.). The parable of 
the fig-tree (Luke 21 : 29-33) is also a good example of formal 
comparison. See also the foolish rich man in Luke 12 : 16-21, 
where Jesus draws the lesson clearly. 

A parable may be a paradox. W. J. Moulton 1 notes three 
kinds of paradox in Christ s parabolic teaching. One sort- 
shocks the hearer by its violent contrast, as when Jesus said 
that it is easier for a camel to -enter in through a needle s eye 
than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God (Luke 
18:25). Such a parable is meant to provoke reflection, as 
when Jesus spoke of hating one s father and mother (Luke 
14:26). The paradox may become clearer in time, as, for 
instance, Christ s denunciation of the Pharisees as hypocrites 
(Luke 6:42) with "beams" or long sticks of wood in their 
eyes trying to get a little mote out of the other people s eyes. 
But the third kind of parabolic paradox retains its inherent 
difficulty with the lapse of time, as in conquering by the cross 
and in saving one s life by losing it (Luke 9:23f.; 14:27). 
So as to making friends by the mammon of unrighteousness 
(16 : 9). 

The longer parables have the narrative form, like the sower 
(Luke 8:4-15), the prodigal son (15:11-32). In these the 
formal comparison is not drawn, though it is plainly implied. 
The great bulk of the longer parables are of this nature. 

The parable need not be fact, but it must be truth. The 
fable is a caricature of animal life, where the animals in a 
grotesque way act contrary to nature. The parable is always 
in harmony with nature, whether the lily of the field, the spar 
row that falls, the lost sheep in the mountains, the lost coin, 
or the lost boy. It is not possible to tell whether or when 
Christ s parables are purely imaginative or have a basis of 
1 Hastings s Diet, of Christ and the Gospels, 


concrete fact in specific instances. The parable of the pounds 
(Luke 19 : 11-27) seems to have as its background the deposi 
tion of Archelaus in A. D. 6, when Jesus was a boy about 
twelve years old. But most of Christ s parables are drawn 
from nature or from human life about him. They are true to 
form, and picture in lasting colors the life of men then and 

The allegory is a variety of parable, but scholars do not 
agree in their use of the term allegory. Plummer 1 puts the 
matter clearly: "In an allegory figure and fact, or, rather, 
figure and interpretation, are not mixed, but are parallel, and 
move simultaneously, as in the allegory of the True Vine or 
of the Good Shepherd." And Plummer might have added 
the allegory of the sower and of the prodigal son. The allegory 
is a narrative parable that is self-explanatory. It means 
speaking something else. 2 The point of the story is plain as 
it proceeds for those who have eyes to see, though the disciples 
did not understand the story of the sower till Jesus explained 
it. Bunyan s Pilgrim s Progress is the great modern allegory. 
Weinel 3 even says that Jesus never spoke in allegory and 
Julicher 4 admits that the Gospels report him as doing so, but 
misrepresent him in the matter. Jesus did not, it is true, 
employ the allegorical method of interpretation in the whimsi 
cal manner of Philo with his fantastic "spiritualizing" that 
had such a disastrous influence on the Alexandrian theology 
of Origen and Clement of Alexandria. All of the parables of 
Jesus have a point and he uses the parable to point the moral 
in his teaching. The allegory in the mouth of Jesus follows 
the line of the parable in being true to nature. The deeper 
spiritual truth that Jesus expounds lies on the surface for 
those with spiritual insight. W. J. Moulton 5 regards the alle 
gory with Christ as imperfectly developed, because he does 
not explain all the details of the story. Compare the sower 
(Luke 8 : 5-15) and the wicked husbandman (Luke 20 : 9-19). 
But in all of Christ s parables he holds to the main point with 
less concern for the setting and the details. 

1 Hastings s Diet, of the Bible (art. "Parable in N. T."). 

2 d),XT)Yop(a. The substantive does not occur in the N. T., but Paul 
has the participle in Gal. 4 . 24. 

3 Die Gleichnisse Jesu, p. 30. 4 Die Gleichnisreden Jesu, I, pp. 61 f. 
6 Hastings s Diet, of Christ and the Gospels (art. "Parable"). 


4. The Interpretation of Parables. The wildest speculation 
has appeared in the interpretation of the parables of Jesus. 
We must be sure that we understand the language that Jesus 
used, as, for instance, "that, when it shall fail, they may 
receive you into the eternal tabernacles" (Luke 16:9). The 
word "receive" simply means a welcome on the part of those 
benefited by the use of one s money, not the purchase of sal 
vation by means of one s money. 

The context must be noted to see the precise light in which 
the story appears. All three stories in Luke 15 are justifica 
tions by Jesus of his association with publicans and sinners 
against the sneer of the Pharisees and the scribes in verses 
1 and 2. The lost sheep, the lost coin, the lost son are pic 
tures of the lost (publicans and sinners) whom Jesus came to 
save. The elder brother is a picture of the carping Pharisee 
who provoked the stories. Again in chapter 16 we have the 
parables about the wise and the unwise use of money, and 
Luke adds (16 : 14) that " the Pharisees, who were lovers of 
money, heard all these things; and they scoffed at him." 

Each parable of Jesus teaches a great truth, and this is the 
first thing to find and sometimes the only thing that we need 
learn as to the teaching. Certainly in the case of the unjust 
steward (Luke 16 : 1-13) this is true, and nothing can be made 
of the fact of the steward s rascality. The same thing is true 
of the discovery of the hid treasure and of the story of the 
Lord s coming like a thief in the night. 

And yet Jesus did sometimes make use of the minor details 
as in some of those in the tares and practically all in the sower. 
The early commentators went to such excesses that Chrysos- 
tom (Horn, on Matt., 64 : 3) says that the details should be 
ignored altogether in the interpretation of the parable. 
Broadus (Comm. on Matt., Chap. XIII) thinks that we are safe 
where we have the guidance of Christ, but that elsewhere 
we should err on the side of restraint rather than license. 
Trench 1 has good words in his third chapter. Augustine says 
that the parable is not to be used as the basis for argument 
unless one has a categorical teaching elsewhere. The three 
loaves in Luke 11:5 have been made to teach the doctrine of 
the Trinity, and the two shillings in the parable of the good 
Samaritan (10 : 35) to mean baptism and the Lord s supper ! 
1 Notes on the Parables. 


In particular, it should be said that one must be careful 
about building schemes of theology in the interpretation of the 
kingdom parables, especially as to the number seven in Matt. 
13 or three in Luke 14 and in 15. Luke s kingdom parables 
deal more with the individual experience rather than with the 
gradual growth of the kingdom itself. There is an apocalyp 
tic or eschatological element in some of the parables in Luke 
as in Mark and Matthew, but the parable of the pounds 
(Luke 19 : 11-27) was spoken expressly to discourage the wild 
excitement of the multitude who " supposed that the kingdom 
of God was immediately to appear" (19:11). And Luke s 
report of the great eschatological discourse on the Mount of 
Olives is quite brief (21 : 5-36). He uses the parable of the 
fig-tree to warn the disciples about the coming culmination of 
the kingdom (29-33). But, on the whole, the parables of 
Jesus in Luke are a stern rebuke to the wild eschatologists who 
fail to see the spiritual and ethical side of Christ s teaching. 
The parables show the gradual expansion of the work of the 
kingdom, and Luke has the pregnant saying of Christ to the 
Pharisees that the kingdom of heaven is within 1 men, not an 
external and political organization as the Pharisees expected 
(17:20f.). "The truth about Jesus is too great to be seen 
from any single standpoint. No single category is able to 
contain him. The truth is more comprehensive than is sup 
posed by either the Mystery school or the thoroughgoing 
Eschatologists." 2 Jesus "transmuted eschatology" to serve 
his purpose, but he was not a dupe of eschatological schemes 
and programmes. Christ is glorified in the Transfiguration, 
the Resurrection, the Ascension. Pentecost and the Destruc 
tion of Jerusalem were forecasts of the end of the world and 
the coming of Christ in person to judge the world. 

5. Luke s Special Contribution to Our Knowledge of the Para 
bles of Jesus. Scholars differ greatly in counting Christ s para 
bles. Bruce 3 gives thirty-three and eight "parable-germs." 
Koetsweld counts seventy-nine. I have listed some fifty of 
them in Broadus s Harmony of the Gospels (pp. 270 f.). The 
speech of Christ was full of metaphor and similitude like the 
lilies of the field and the birds of the air. Of the thirty-five of 
some length that are usually discussed in the books on the 

1 4vT6<;. 2 Carpenter, Christianity According to S. Luke, p. 153. 

3 The Parabolic Teaching of Christ, pp. xi f . 


parables of Jesus, Luke has twenty-three and eighteen occur 
in his Gospel alone. Three are also in Matthew and Mark 
(the sower, the mustard-seed, the wicked husbandman) and 
two are in Matthew (the leaven, the lost sheep). 

The eighteen that occur in Luke alone are beautiful and 
give a distinct grace and glory to his Gospel. They are the 
two debtors (Luke 7 : 40-43), the good Samaritan (10 : 30-37), 
the friend at midnight (11 : 5-8), the rich fool (12 : 16-21), the 
waiting servants (12 : 35-48), the barren fig-tree (13 : 6-9), the 
chief seats at feasts (14:7-11), the great supper (14: 15-24), 
the rash builder (14 : 28-30), the rash king (14 : 31-33), the 
lost coin (15:8-10), the lost son (15: 11-32), the unrighteous 
steward (16 : 1-12), the rich man and Lazarus (16 : 19-31), the 
unprofitable servants (17:7-10), the unrighteous judge 
(18 : 1-8), the Pharisee and the publican (18 : 9-14), the pounds 
(19: 11-27). We could ill afford to give up these wonderful 

Luke, like Matthew (13, 21, 24 and 25), is fond of bunching 
the parables, as in 5:36-39; 13:18-21; 14:28-32; chapters 
15, 16, 18. It looks as if Jesus at times piled parable upon 
parable in his teaching, to drive the point home, as in Luke 15 
(three) and in Matt. 21 and 22 (three). Sometimes there 
are pairs of parables in Luke, as in Matthew. Plummer 1 notes 
how the effect of Christ s parables is intensified by contrasts, 
as in the heartless clergy and the charitable Samaritan (Luke 
10 : 30), the rich man and Lazarus (16 : 19), the Pharisee and 
the publican (18 : 9). 

There is a trace of Luke s own style in some of the parables 
which he may have translated from the Aramaic into the 
Greek, 2 but in the main we may feel sure that Luke has pre 
served the story with the flavor that Jesus gave it. Stanton 3 
thinks that the good Samaritan, in particular, has Lukan 

As a rule parables are drawn from a different realm to illus 
trate one s point. But Luke gives some that come from the 
same sphere by way of example, as the good Samaritan, the 
foolish rich man, the rich man and Lazarus, the Pharisee and 
the publican, the friend at midnight, the unjust judge. These 

1 Hastings s B. D. 

2 Carpenter, op. cit., p. 195. 

3 Gospels as Historical Documents, II, p. 300. 


are parables of the personal touch. The parallel consists in 
the application of the story to the life of the hearer. Luke is 
fond of the personal touch in Christ s stories. "The Lukan 
parables are not formal expositions of the nature of the king 
dom, they are appeals ad hominem. And they are drawn, for 
the most part, not from the processes of nature, but from the 
facts of human life and character." l 

Glover 2 thinks that Jesus was fond of telling parables of his 
home life in Nazareth. He watched his own home life. "It 
was Mary, we may believe, who put the leaven in the three 
measures of meal . . . and Jesus sat by and watched it. In 
after years the sight came back to Him. He remembered the 
big basin, the heaving, panting mass in it, the bubbles strug 
gling out, swelling and breaking, and the level rising and fall 
ing. It came to Him as a picture of the Kingdom of Heaven 
at work in the individual man and in the community." 3 

It matters little how we classify the parables of Jesus. That 
is all subjective and more or less artificial. We shall get bet 
ter results by studying the parables as they come in their own 
context than by tearing them out by the roots and making 
them live in our theological pots and pans. They are alive 
and will bleed if mistreated. They throb with life as Luke 
has preserved them in his Gospel. 

It is doubtless true that Luke s interest in the parables of 
Jesus was largely that of a literary man who was charmed by 
these matchless stories of the new life in the kingdom of God. 
But he had also the interest of a sober theologian 4 to combat 
the wild eschatological views of the time. Jesus at times used 
the apocalyptic method and the eschatological motive, but it 
was always with restraint and reserve. The teaching of Jesus 
concerning the kingdom of God in Luke s report of the para 
bles discountenances all millennial programmes and set times 
for the second coming of Christ. The keynote of the parables 
of Jesus in Luke s Gospel is personal salvation and growth of 
Christian character. The larger aspect of the kingdom in its 
social and world relations is present, but it is grounded in the 
new life of the individual in Christ. The social redemption of 

1 Carpenter, op. cit., p. 112. 

2 The Jesus of History, p. 30. 

3 Glover, The Meaning and Purpose of a Christian Society, p. 18. 
4 McLachlan (St. Luke) has a chapter on " Luke the Theologian." 


the race is the goal and Luke makes that clear. He has a 
world outlook and a world sympathy, and Jesus stands forth 
as the teacher for all the world and for all time with a pro 
gramme for world reconstruction. 


"Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased" (Luke 3 : 22) 

Luke had to face the problem of the person of Christ when 
he decided to write his Gospel. The picture of Jesus Christ 
was already drawn in the Logia of Matthew and in Mark s 
Gospel, as we know. It was probably clearly presented in his 
other sources. Luke had heard Paul and others preach that 
Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God. There was no escap 
ing this question. Jesus himself had pressed his claim as the 
Son of Man toward the close of his ministry, so that his enemies 
and his friends took sides sharply. Luke tells the whole story 
of the person of Christ as the issue was developed during the 
life of Jesus and during the period covered by the Acts. He 
has written an objective narrative, but he did not attempt to 
conceal his own loyalty to Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. 

1. The Jesus or Christ Controversy. Luke was not one of 
the eye-witnesses 2 of Christ, but he was one of the witnesses 3 
to the work of Christ. He was a critic of the effect of Christ s 
personal influence on men who knew him in the flesh and who 
worshipped him as God and Saviour. Luke had to face 
squarely the problem of Jesus as the Christ (the Messiah). It 
was put up to him by the eye-witnesses. Luke, as we have 
seen, was not a Jew, and so was not expecting a Messiah. He 
was not prejudiced against Jesus as were the Pharisees, with 
their theory of a political and eschatological kingdom for the 
Messiah. But the heathen myths made it more difficult, if 
anything, for him to accept the facts about the incarnation of 
Christ, the virgin birth, and Christ s resurrection from the 
dead. Certainly, the emperor-worship was enough to disgust 

1 The Expositor (London), 1920. 

2 afi-rficrai. There is a striking example of aijTdxnjs in P. Oxy., VIII, 
1154, 8 (late 1 A. D.), auT67crrj<; Y&p e(ju TWV T6x<ov xal oix ef^xl v[o]o<; TWV 
IvOdSs, translated by Moulton and Milligan: "For I am personally ac 
quainted with these places, and am not a stranger here." 



any intelligent man, as it did most of the men of light of that 
time. It was not easy for an educated man in Luke s day to 
accept the deity of Jesus and to worship a man. The cross of 
Jesus was a stumbling-block to the Jew and foolishness to the 
Greek. Luke felt the force of both objections. 

Luke is the typical man of culture of his time. He does not 
tell the mental processes by which he came to take Jesus as 
the Christ. But we may be sure that he would understand 
the temper of the modern college man or woman who finds 
difficulty in reconciling the deity of Jesus with modern Dar 
winism. It was just as hard for Luke to make the person of 
Christ square with the scientific theories of Galen and Hippoc 
rates. We must try to understand the problems of the college 
and university life of our day. I wish to recommend Mc- 
Kenna s The Adventure of Life as a book admirably adapted to 
help the really sincere spirits who wish to face the facts of 
nature and of grace. This English physician and devout 
Christian wrote his book in his den at the front in France in 
the midst of death and life. He is a man after Luke s own 
heart, and looks at all the facts with a calm and clear gaze. 
He is an evolutionist and gives his conception of the develop 
ment of the universe up to man. Then he finds a place for 
Jesus, the Son of God, in the scientific universe of Darwin, 
and he worships him as his saviour from sin. It is utterly 
frank and very able and helpful. It is just as gratuitous to 
accuse Luke of credulity as McKenna. One is bound to 
believe that Luke had an experience of Christ in his heart and 
life before he clearly grasped the conception of the person of 
Christ. Glover in his Jesus of History likewise understands 
Luke and the temper of modern young people of culture with 
a craving to know Christ. We may be sure that Luke did not 
write carelessly the tremendous statements concerning the 
deity of Jesus. He writes in the light of his own extensive 
researches, after long investigation of the claims and the power 
of Christ, and out of a full heart. He had himself put Jesus 
to the test in his own life. He had seen others live for Christ 
and die for Christ. Luke loved his medical science, but he 
loved Jesus more. He was a "doctor of the old school," who 
was able to make the sick-room a sanctuary of God. He was 
a partner with God and looked to the Great Physician to bless 
his work. 


Luke wrote with the Logia before him. The Logia (Q) had 
precisely the same elements 1 in its picture of Christ that we 
find in the Gospel of John. 2 Mark 3 wrote before Luke, and 
Mark s picture of Christ agrees with that of the Logia. Luke 
was Paul s bosom friend. Luke knew Paul s idea of Christ. 
So Luke had to face the Jesus or Christ controversy of mod 
ern theologians. 4 He identified the theological Christ with 
the historic Jesus. He did not do so blindly. From the be 
ginning he found the evidence that convinced him. It is a 
modern intellectual impertinence that men of culture do not 
accept the deity of Jesus. Gladstone says that out of sixty 
master minds that he knew, fifty-five of them took Jesus hum 
bly as God and Saviour. 

Luke the historian records his idea of the person of Christ. 
He does not use Pauline terminology. He follows the lan 
guage of his primitive sources. He lets us see that the witness 
is very old and goes back to the very life of Christ. It is not 
a theological dogma of a late date, invented to suit the deifica 
tion of Jesus. Luke writes in a true historic spirit, and lets 
us see how Jesus impressed the men of his time and how 
Jesus regarded himself. 

2. The Son of God. Luke does not write as a theologian. 
He does not express his own views in theological language, as 
Paul does in his Epistles. He makes no theological arguments 
or definitions. He keeps his own personality in the back 
ground, but he reveals his own views by the nature of the 
material that he presents. We may agree or disagree with 
Luke s picture of Christ, but he has drawn it with absolute 
clearness and after mature reflection and with manifest convic 
tion. He comes to the interpretation of Christ without Phar 
isaic limitations and from the standpoint of a cosmopolitan. 
Wright 5 thinks that Luke had conversations with John, the 
author of the Fourth Gospel, since both mention the fact 
that the sepulchre in which our Lord s body lay was a new 
one, "where no one had yet lain" (Luke 23 : 53). He thinks 

1 See my article, " The Christ of the Logia," in the Contemporary Review, 
August, 1919. 

2 See my Divinity of Christ in the Gospel of John (1916). 

3 See my Studies in Mark s Gospel (1919). 

4 Cf . The Hibbert Journal Supplement for 1909. 

5 Hastings s Diet, of Christ and the Gospels. 


that much of John s teaching was "esoteric, intended for ad 
vanced disciples only/ but there are Johannean patches in 
Luke s Gospel, as, for instance, Luke 10:21-24 (cf. Matt. 
11:25-30). Be that as it may, it can be shown that Luke 
conceived Jesus as the Son of God in the full sense of that 
phrase. He has not written his Gospel to prove that thesis 
as John has done in his Gospel (20 : 30 f.), but in numerous 
instances he shows clearly what he means his readers to under 
stand about Jesus. 

Luke records the angel Gabriel as saying to Mary of the 
promised child: "He shall be great, and shall be called the 
son of the Most High: and the Lord God shall give unto him 
the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the 
house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no 
end," (Luke 1 : 32-33). This is, to be sure, the Old Testament 
picture in broad outline of the Messiah, but not the Pharisaic 
conception. In II Sam. 7 : 5-17 Nathan s words to David 
from Jehovah are recorded. David s son is to build Jehovah 
a house and the throne of his kingdom is to be established 
forever. This covenant with David is referred to at length 
in Psalm 89, where it is interpreted in Messianic language. 
Nearly all of the language of Christ s words to Peter in Matt. 
16 : 18 f. appears in Psalm 89. We need not think that David 
or Nathan or the author of Psalm 89 understood the language 
about the perpetuity of the Davidic throne in the spiritual 
sense as Jesus interprets it in Matt. 16 : 18 f. Luke clearly 
understands the words of Gabriel to Mary in the sense of the 
spiritual Israel that Paul teaches in Gal. 3 and Romans 9:11. 
The context in Luke s Gospel shows that he means us to un 
derstand that by "the son of the Most High" he is describing 
the real deity of Jesus. 

He is human on the side of his mother Mary, but is begot 
ten of the Holy Spirit. When Mary expressed her wonder 
and surprise, Gabriel replies: "The Holy Spirit shall come 
upon thee, and shall overshadow thee: wherefore also the 
holy thing which is begotten of thee shall be called the Son 
of God" (Luke 1 : 35). The idea of the Shekinah is suggested 
here (Ex. 40:38). "The cloud of glory signified the Divine 
presence and power." 1 The unborn child is called "holy" as 
free from all taint of sin. 2 There is no discounting the fact 

1 Plummer, in loco. 8 Ibid. 


that Luke indorses these words of Gabriel as a true forecast 
of the life of Jesus which he will present in his Gospel. Luke 
believed the simple story of Mary about the birth of Jesus. 
Thus he interprets the incarnation of the Son of God. Efforts 
have been made to empty the words "the Son of God" 1 of 
their natural content, but with no success. True, Adam is 
called by Luke the Son of God in 3 : 38, but the context is 
utterly different. God created Adam, but begot Jesus by the 
Holy Spirit. Adam was not an incarnation of God, but God s 
offspring, as all men are (Acts 17 : 28). 

And then Elizabeth greets Mary as "the mother of my 
Lord" 2 (Luke 1 : 43). Here the word "Lord" is not a mere 
title of rank or even in the sense ascribed in the papyri so often 
to Caesar, but it is the Old Testament usage as in Psalm 90 : 1. 
Elizabeth means Messiah by Lord. Plummer 3 properly notes 
that the expression "Mother of God" does not occur in the 
Bible. Didon 4 wrongly translates the language of Luke 1 : 43 
by "la mere de mon Dieu." But the Greek word for Lord in 
the Septuagint commonly occurs for the Hebrew Jehovah. 

The shepherds hear the angel describe the Babe of Bethle 
hem as "a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord." 5 It is possible to 
say that Luke, if translating an Aramaic source, whether oral 
or written, may have followed the Septuagint in Lam. 4 : 20, 
where "the anointed of the Lord" is rendered by "the Anointed 
Lord." 6 The same peculiar expression occurs in Psalms of 
Solomon 17:36. "The combination occurs nowhere else in 
N. T., and the precise meaning is uncertain. Either Messiah, 
Lord/ or Anointed Lord/ or the Messiah, the Lord/ or an 
anointed one, a Lord/" 7 But it is, at any rate, plain that 
the highest dignity is here ascribed to the child Jesus. 

In Luke 2 : 26 we read that Simeon had had a revelation 

1 utt><; 8eo5. The use of 6 ulb? TOU Oeou would have made the point 
clearer. Luke probably translates from the Aramaic. Deissmann (Bible 
Studies, pf. 131) quotes an inscription of Cos with 6eou ulou Sepaorou for 
Augustus and a Fayum papyrus (Pap. Berol. 7006) where xataapoq 6eou 
ulou again refers to Augustus. 

2 f) V^Tf)? Toi J xup(ou txou. The use of xpco<; as imperial title is very common 
in the papyri. See P. Oxy., 375 (A. D. 49) -rtpepfou xXauSfou xataapo? TOU 

3 Comrn., p. 29. 4 Jesus Christ, p. 111. 6 owrPjp 8? <JTIV xptaTbs x6ptoq. 

6 xptcrcbq x6pto?. Cf . Ps. 90 : 1 and Sirach 51 : 10. 

7 Plummer, in loco. 


that he should not die before he had seen "the Lord s Christ 1 1 
or "the Lord s Anointed" (cf. Lam. 4:20). Here the deity 
of Jesus is not brought out save as it belongs to the word 
"Anointed" or Messiah. One may compare Luke 9:20, 
where Luke has "the Christ (the Anointed) of God" (Mark 
8 : 29, "the Christ," Matt. 16 : 17, "the Christ, the Son of the 
living God"). 

In Luke 2 : 49 the boy Jesus expresses surprise that Joseph 
and Mary do not understand that "I must be in my Father s 
house." 2 This is the correct translation, as the papyri show, 
not "about my Father s business." But here is the Messianic 
consciousness in the boy of twelve. God is his Father in a 
sense not true of other men. The Jews later accused Jesus of 
blasphemy for calling God "his own Father, and making him 
self equal with God" (John 5 : 18). 

At the baptism of Jesus "a voice came out of heaven, Thou 
art my beloved Son; 3 in thee I am well pleased" (Luke 3 : 22 = 
Mark 1 : 11 = Matt. 3: 17). It is possible that the voice of 
the Father suggested Psalm 2 : 7, which D (Codex Bezae) here 
follows. But it is beyond question that the Synoptic Gospels 
here present the deity of Jesus as clearly as does the Gospel of 
John. It is given, moreover, at the very beginning of Christ s 
ministry, not merely at the close. It comes not as a new revela 
tion to Jesus, but as confirmation of his peculiar relation to the 
Father. John the Baptist saw the descent of the Holy Spirit as 
the sign (John 1 : 33) and he heard the voice of the Father : 
" And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of 
God" (1 : 34). This is no mere Bath-Kol of the rabbis, an echo 
of God s voice. It is not the Cerinthian Gnostic idea of an 
emanation upon Jesus, the "Christ" coming upon the man 
Jesus. Jesus does not here "become" God or the Son of God. 
As the Son of God, he is recognized by the Father on the for 
mal entrance upon his Messianic mission in the presence and 
with the sanction of the forerunner. Father, Son, and Holy 
Spirit unite on this august occasion in setting this seal upon 
the solemn event. 

In the temptations the devil twice (Luke 4 : 3, 9) challenges 
Christ s relation to God by the words "If thou art the Son of 

1 tbv xpt<rrbv xupfau. 

2 ev TOC<; TOU TOZTp6<; [xou 8st slvtxi [is. 


God " l or, more exactly, " If thou art Son of God." There is no 
article with Son in the Greek. There is undoubted allusion 
to the voice of the Father at the baptism (Luke 3 : 22), but 
the reference is "to the relationship to God, rather than to 
the office of Messiah." 2 The condition, being of the first 
class, 3 assumes the fact of Christ s peculiar relationship to 
God, though possibly enjoyed by others. The devil does not 
throw doubt on his own temptation, but seeks to incite doubt 
in Jesus by urging him to prove that he is in reality God s 
Son by the exercising of the power of God. 

In the discourse in the synagogue at Nazareth (Luke 4 : 16-30) 
Jesus read from the roll of Isaiah (61:1-2; 58:6) and defi 
nitely claims that this Messianic passage is fulfilled in him 
(Luke 4:21). There is no specific claim to deity here save 
as that is involved in Christ s conception of the Messiah. " In 
applying these words to Himself the Christ looks back to His 
baptism. He is more than a Prophet; He is the Son, the 
Beloved One, of Jehovah" (3 : 21, 22). 4 

The Pharisees challenged the right of Christ to forgive sins by 
saying: "Who can forgive sins but God alone?" (Luke 5 : 21). 
Jesus does not dispute the point raised, but accepts the chal 
lenge and heals the man on purpose, "that ye may know that 
the Son of Man hath authority on earth to forgive sins" 
(5 : 24). He acts on his own authority in perfect accord with 
the will of God (John 5 : 19, 21). He allows the Pharisees and 
the people to draw the conclusion that he claims divine pre 

In Luke 6 : 5 Jesus claims to be "Lord of the Sabbath," with 
power to change or cancel the day as it suits best his work. 
This is not a direct claim to equality with God, but is a revo 
lutionary position from the usual Pharisaic theology which 
made men slaves of the Sabbath. 

One does not care to press the point in the language of the 
demoniac in Luke 8 : 28, who says : " Jesus, thou Son of the 
Most High God." The word "God" is not certain in the 
text, and "Most High" is a common name for Jehovah among 
heathen nations. 5 Perhaps the man was a heathen. The 

1 si ulbq e! TOO 0sou. Note emphatic position of uibq. On absence of arti 
cle, see Robertson, Grammar, p. 781. 

2 Plummer, in loco. 3 Cf. Robertson, Grammar, p. 1009. 

4 Plummer, in loco. 6 See proof in Plummer s Comm., p. 229. 


demoniacs quickly acknowledge the deity of Jesus, a fact that 
was turned against Jesus by the rabbis, who used it as a proof 
that he was in league with the devil. But Luke records the 
fact and lets his readers draw their own inferences. Devil 
and demons alike acknowledge Jesus as God s Son in Luke s 

We have already seen that in Luke 9 : 20 Peter addresses 
Jesus as "the Christ of God," while Matt. 16:16 has "the 
Christ, the Son of the living God." Luke s briefer form in 
volves Matthew s longer report. 

On the Mount of Transfiguration Luke (9 : 35) records that 
"a voice came out of the cloud, saying: This is my Son, my 
chosen; hear ye him." Here many manuscripts, 1 like 
Matt. 17:5 and Mark 9:7, have "my beloved Son" as in 
Luke 3 : 22. But the variation in the verbal or participle cuts 
no figure in the testimony of the Father to the peculiar sonship 2 
of Jesus. Luke has points of his own concerning this great 
event (Christ s praying, the talk about Christ s decease). 

In Luke 10 : 22 (= Matt. 11 : 27) Jesus claims equality with 
the Father by the use of "the Father," "the Son," as so often 
in John s Gospel (cf. 5: 19-20). "And it contains the whole 
of the Christology of the Fourth Gospel. It is like * an aerolite 
from the Johannean heaven ; 3 and for that very reason it causes 
perplexity to those who deny the solidarity between the Johan 
nean heaven and the Synoptic earth." 4 

When on trial before the Sanhedrin Jesus is finally asked 
pointedly by Caiaphas if he is the Christ (Luke 22 : 67) and 
then by all: "Art thou then the Son of God?" (22 : 70). To 
this he replied, "Ye say that I am," a virtual affirmative. 
Luke only gives the ratification after dawn (22 : 66) of the 
illegal condemnation before day given in detail by Matthew 
and Mark. Matthew (26:63) represents Christ as put on 
oath by Caiaphas to tell "whether thou be the Christ, the Son 
of God," to which Jesus gives an affirmative answer (Matt. 
26 : 64; Mark 14 : 62). It is all perfunctory repetition in Luke, 
but the same point is clearly made that Jesus before the San 
hedrin solemnly claims to be the Son of God. On this con 
fession of his the vote was twice taken to convict him of blas 
phemy. Clearly, therefore, the Sanhedrin understood Jesus to 

1 A C D P R. 2 6 u!6? txou. Note article. 

3 Hase, Geschichte Jesu, p. 527. 4 Plummer, p. 282. 


make divine claims. Jesus had said in so many words: "But 
from henceforth shall the Son of Man be seated at the right 
hand of the power of God" (22:69). "In the allusion to 
Daniel 7 : 13 they recognize a claim to Divinity." l In simple 
truth Luke records that the Sanhedrin voted Jesus to be 
worthy of death because he claimed to be the Son of God, and 
so equal with God. 

Once more Luke represents the risen Christ as claiming 
that he is the Messiah of Old Testament prophecy, whose suf 
ferings were already foretold (Luke 24 : 26, 46). 

The case is made out with abundant clearness that Luke s 
Gospel gives us a picture of one who claimed to be the Son of 
God in the full sense of that phrase. Luke presents the real 
deity of Jesus, not the mere divinity of humanity. In a word, 
Jesus is the Son of God in the same sense that he appears in 
the Fourth Gospel, though John s philosophical language in 
the Prologue is not employed. We see this conception of 
Christ in Mary s memorials in chapters 1 and 2, in the portions 
of Luke drawn from Mark and from Q, in the Perean and 
passion narratives. It is futile to try to make Luke s Christ 
a mere man, even the best of men. From the virgin birth to 
the ascension we see the Son of God limned by Luke the 
painter and the historian. 

3. The Son of Man. But Luke is not a Docetic Gnostic any 
more than a Cerinthian Gnostic. If Jesus is the Son of God 
in Luke s Gospel, he is none the less the Son of Man. Jesus 
is a real man and not a make-believe man without genuine 
humanity. Luke s Gospel is that of "Jesus, our Brother- 
Man." 2 The Jesus of Luke s Gospel is no pale-faced dreamer 
out of touch with his environment. As a physician Luke takes 
special delight in showing the phases and features of his human 
birth and development side by side with the manifest deity of 
Jesus Christ. 

Jesus is the child of Mary and is from the most humble sur 
roundings, with no comforts for mother or child (Luke 2 : 4-7). 
Here we see the physician s tender interest in the details of 
the birth. 

Like any other child, Jesus "grew, and waxed strong, filled 
with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon him" (2:40). 

1 Plummer, p. 519. 

2 Hayes, Synoptic Gospels and Acts, p. 253. 


Luke alone gives the picture of the boy Jesus in the temple 
and his obedience to Joseph and Mary. " And Jesus advanced 
in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man" 
(2 : 52). Luke does not moralize or dogmatize about the 
wonder of these words. With wondrous skill he helps us to 
see the human growth of the Son of God, who is also the Son 
of Man. 

The tender sympathy of Jesus is apparent at every turn in 
Luke s Gospel in his love for sinners and his pity for the sick 
and the suffering. Luke pictures Jesus as weeping over Jeru 
salem, that was to reject him (19 : 41-44). Luke says that in 
the agony in Gethsemane "his sweat became as it were great 
drops of blood falling down upon the ground" (22 : 44). Even 
after the resurrection of Jesus Luke emphasizes the fact that 
Jesus was more than a mere ghost by his asking his disciples to 
handle him and by his eating a piece of broiled fish (24 : 38-43), 
difficult as it is to comprehend this transition stage in the 
body of Christ. 

Like the other Gospels, Luke s Gospel reports Jesus as 
claiming to be the Son of Man, and yet no one of the Evangel 
ists calls Jesus by this term. It is always used by Christ in 
the more than eighty instances in the Gospels. This agree 
ment is not mere coincidence, and argues strongly for the 
genuineness of the language. And yet there is great agree 
ment among modern scholars as to the origin and the signifi 
cance of the expression. Abbott has an exhaustive treatment 
of every phase of the subject in his notable monograph. 1 It is 
vain to try to find the Aramaic barnasha, a man, any one, in 
some of the crucial passages in the Gospels, however possible 
in others. It is plain in Luke, as in the other Gospels, that 
Christ s enemies understood him to make a Messianic claim 
by the use of "the Son of Man." That is seen in Luke 22 : 69 
where Jesus calls himself "the Son of Man," who will "be 
seated at the right hand of the power of God." The Sanhedrin 
then retort: "Art thou then the Son of God?" The two 
terms are not interchangeable, but evidently there is a bond 
of unity. If Jesus had simply claimed to be a man, there 
would be no meaning in the question. So also in John 12 : 34 
the multitude identify "the Christ" (Messiah) with "Son of 
Man." In the Book of Enoch the Son of Man has a Messianic 

1 The Son of Man, or Contributions to the Study of the Thoughts of Jesus. 


connotation, though it is not clear whether all of the book is 
pre-Christian or not. The word occurs in Ezekiel as his title 
and it is in Daniel 7 : 13 f. as "one like a Son of Man." The 
expression emphasizes the humanity of Christ and also hia 
representative position as the ideal and perfect man. But it 
also presents in popular apprehension the claim to the Mes- 
siahship without using the technical word Messiah. Thus 
Jesus avoided a technical issue with his enemies till his hour 
had come. But the very phrase that reveals the true human 
ity of Jesus implies that he is more than a man. The Son of 
Man is the Son of God, else he could not really be the Son of 

So, then, Luke really means that Jesus in his human life, 
though absolutely genuine, is in a state of voluntary humilia 
tion, as Paul explains in II Cor. 8:9 and Phil. 2:5-11. He 
had the limitations of weariness and suffering and sorrow and 
pain and death. Jesus battled with wrong at every turn. 
He clashed with the ecclesiastical hypocrites of the time who 
crucified him for his spiritual reality and hostility to sham. 
In his very humanity Jesus reveals his deity and is the hope 
of the race. 

4. The Saviour of Sinners. Christ is the great humanitarian 
of the ages, but he is more. Jesus has drawn the picture of 
the good Samaritan with his disregard for caste and race and 
religious prejudice and his sheer pity for a man in trouble. 
Jesus was the friend of the poor, of the sick, of the suffering. 
The lepers were not afraid to draw nigh to him. The blind 
cried out after Jesus when he passed by. Even the dead heard 
his voice and came back to life. Jesus brought health and 
healing at every step. He carried light and life with him to 
all who wished it. Jesus is the true philanthropist. Nowhere 
is he pictured with such attractive power as he went about 
doing good as in Luke s Gospel. The very heart of Luke 
went out to Jesus in his deeds of mercy. 

But there is a deeper note than all this blessed work of social 
amelioration. Jesus is the saviour from sin in Luke s Gospel. 
He is the friend of publicans and sinners, not to condone their 
sins or to join in them, but to win them from their sins. Luke s 
Christ is Mr. H. G. Wells s "Limited God" right down in the 
midst of sinners, right down in the trenches, struggling and 
fighting evil in its lair. Jesus not merely has sympathy with 


the suffering and the sinful. He has love for the souls of the 
lost. He has power to help men. Jesus sees the cross ahead 
of him as the way to win the lost. He makes the plain predic 
tion (9 : 43 f .) to Peter (Luke 9 : 20-27) and repeats it. He 
knows the cost of redemption from sin and he means to pay 
the price with his life. It is no mythical "dying god" of the 
autumn who rises, according to the myth, in the spring, as the 
mystery religions teach. Jesus sees his baptism of death 
(12 : 49-53) before it comes. Jesus is conscious that he is 
dying for men (22 : 19 ff.). Substitution is not so hard to 
understand now as it was before the Great War. Luke s 
account of the death on the cross (23 : 32-54) and of the 
resurrection from the dead is all in harmony with the Pauline 
gospel of the death of Christ for the salvation of the sinner. 
In Luke we have the Son of God and the Son of Man giving 
himself as the victim of sin to save the sinner. The Gospel of 
Luke has often been called the Gospel of Sacrifice. "The Son 
of Man must suffer many things" (Luke 9:22). And Jesus 
himself will explain to the two disciples on the way to Emmaus : 
" Behoved it not the Christ to suffer these things, and to enter 
into his glory?" (24:26). 

5. The Captain of Our Salvation. Luke gives us a Christ 
with a world programme. The risen Christ on Olivet (a 
wondrous picture) interprets his sufferings, death and resur 
rection as preliminary to the proclamation of repentance and 
remission of sins to the whole world (Luke 24:46-49). The 
disciples were to tarry in Jerusalem till clothed with power 
from on high, and then they were to fare forth to the conquest 
of the world. The Gospel closes with this promise of divine 
energy (power, dunamis, dynamite) to carry out this vast 
undertaking. The Acts opens with the same promise of the 
Father for which they were to wait, but which was near, and 
which did come at the great Pentecost. Jesus did not leave 
the disciples in gloom. They were in darkness at his death, 
but were full of joy at his ascension (Luke 24:52). The 
greatest revolution in human history took place in the short 
space of fifty days. Defeat was turned into victory. The 
cross became the sign of conquest. 

Jesus lives as the leader of men with the forward look, who 
hope for better days and better men. Luke s Christ is the 
risen Jesus, who carries on the work that he began (Acts 1:1). 


The Acts, like the Gospel, records the words and deeds of 
Jesus. This is Luke s conception of Christ. He would prob 
ably not have written those two books at all if they only 
recorded ancient history that was over and done. Luke had 
a profound conviction that he was recording the origin of a 
movement that was to go to the uttermost part of the earth. 
The kingdom of Christ was to overturn the kingdom of 
Satan. Christ was to overcome Caesar. Luke saw victory in 
the future. Hence he wrote. He lived to see the proof of the 
promise. The Acts justifies the Gospel. Paul answered the 
call of Christ. The Roman Empire would fall at the feet of 
Jesus. The conflict was to be longer than Luke knew, but he 
was sure that in the end of the day Jesus would win, for he is 
the Son of God who is now leading the forces of righteousness 
on earth from his throne in heaven. 

The Holy Spirit is the vicegerent of Christ on earth, not 
the Pope of Rome. The Holy Spirit is the power of Christ 
on earth for all men who will let him use them. So the battle 
goes on. The programme of Christ is not yet completed. He 
is coming back some day. But that promise and that hope 
should be an incentive to greater zeal in carrying out Christ s 
programme, not a sedative to endeavor. Optimism, not pes 
simism, is the key-note of Luke s Gospel and the Acts. Jesus 
is risen and reigns. Paul carries the Gospel over the Roman 
Empire. You and I are to carry the torch to the uttermost 
part of the earth. We have Luke s Gospel with its wondrous 
picture of Christ to take with us. We have the Acts with the 
marvellous story of the power of the Holy Spirit to cheer us. 
Jesus is king. Let us crown him. That is what Luke means 
by his Gospel and Acts. 



" Now, in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pon 
tius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of 
Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Iturea and 
Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, in the high priest 
hood of Annas and Caiaphas " (Luke 3 : 1-3). 

1. The Beginning of John s Ministry. Ancient historians 
had great difficulty in giving precise dates for historical events. 
Chronological data give modern scholars no end of trouble. 
The ancient writers often made little effort to give the exact 
time. The years were counted in so many different ways. 
The commonest way is that pursued by Luke in his Gospel, 
3 : 1-3, where by seven synchronisms he dates the beginning 
of the active ministry of the Baptist. Evidently Luke is tak 
ing pains to make plain when John began his work and when 
Jesus entered upon his ministry. Jesus was "about thirty 
years old" (Luke 3:23). John was six months older than 
Jesus (1 : 26). John was thus probably about thirty when he 
began his ministry. If we assume that the crucifixion of 
Jesus took place at the Passover of A. D. 30 and that there 
were four Passovers in the ministry of Jesus, "we reach the 
conclusion that the synchronisms of Luke 3 : 1, 2 are calculated 
for the summer (say July) of A. D. 26." 2 There is no trouble 
with any of the seven names given by Luke save those of 
Tiberius and Lysanias. Luke has been sharply criticised for 
alleged blunders concerning these two rulers, as he has been 
for his mention of Quirinius in Luke 2:2. We have seen how 
Luke has been triumphantly vindicated about Quirinius and 
the census of Augustus. This victory for Luke should at 
least make us pause before attacking him blindly. 

Now Tiberius began to reign in A. D. 14, upon the death 
of Augustus. The fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius, 
however, gives us the year A. D. 28, not A. D. 26, two years 

1 The Methodist Review (Nashville), Oct., 1920. 
2 Ramsay, St. Paul the Traveller, p. 386, 


later than the other data call for. Has Luke made a slip here ? 
We know from Suetonius (Tib. xxi) that Tiberius was asso 
ciated with Augustus in the administration of the provinces. 1 
Tacitus (Ann. I, iii, 3) speaks of Tiberius as " son, colleague in 
empire, consort in tribunician power." 2 Besides, some coins 
of Antioch, not accepted as genuine by Eckert, count Tiberius s 
rule from A. D. 12 instead of A. D. 14. Plummer 3 is doubtful, 
but is inclined to think that Luke means to count from A. D. 14, 
not A. D. 12. The argument from silence is always pre 
carious. The Romans counted the beginning of a reign on the 
death of a previous ruler. But in the case of Titus it was not 
done. Ramsay 4 argues that thus we get a clew to the date of 
Acts: "So that Luke, being familiar with that method, applied 
it in the case of Tiberius. Now that was the case with Titus. 
His reign began from the association with his father on 1st 
July, A. D. 71." That is plausible, to be sure, but it is not the 
only interpretation of the fact about Titus. If it was done 
with Titus, as we know, it may have been done with Tiberius, 
though we have no other knowledge of it. If others did it in 
the case of Titus, Luke could do it in the case of Tiberius, 
even if he did not know of the Titus case when he wrote. 
Luke lived in the provinces where Tiberius shared the rule 
with Augustus. We must remember Quirinius and the census 
again before we dare to convict Luke of a blunder concerning 

The difficulty about Lysanias is more acute. Plummer 5 puts 
the case clearly: "Not merely Strauss, Gfrorer, B. Baur and 
Hilgenfeld, but even Keim and Holtzmann, attribute to Luke 
the gross chronological blunder of supposing that Lysanias, son 
of Ptolemy, who ruled this region previous to B. C. 36, when 
he was killed by M. Antony, is still reigning sixty years after 
his death." That is the charge, put baldly and bluntly. 
What can be said in reply? Carpenter 6 admits that "it is in 
any case possible that the reference to Lysanias is a chrono 
logical error." It is even suggested that Luke "somewhat 
carelessly read Josephus" (Ant. XX, vii, 1) where he says that 
Trachonitis and Abila "had been the tetrarchy of Lysanias." 

1 Ut provincias cum Augusto communiter administraret. 

2 Filius t collega imperil, consors tribunicice potestati adsumilur. 

3 Comm., p. 82. St. Paul the Traveller, p. 387. 

B Comm., p. 84. 6 Christianity According to S. Luke, p. 229. 


Carpenter admits that it is possible that there was a second 
Lysanias, a tetrarch. Plummer notes the pure assumption 
that only one Lysanias ruled in those parts. Critics had over 
looked the fact that Lysanias, son of Ptolemy, was king, not 
tetrarch, as Luke and Josephus say. Besides, an inscription 
has been known for a century that ought to have taught critics 
the truth. Plummer notes "that at the time Tiberius was 
associated with Augustus there was a tetrarch Lysanias. 5 " 1 
Moffatt 2 called special attention to the bearing of this inscrip 
tion, a new and improved copy, found at Suk Wadi Barada, 
the site of Abila. It is the dedication of a temple and has the 
words "on behalf of the salvation of the Lords Imperial and 
their whole household" by "Nymphaios a freedman of Lysa 
nias the tetrarch." Ramsay 3 has seized upon the new copy 
with avidity and shows that "the Lords Imperial" can only 
be "Tiberius and Julia" (his mother). Julia Augusta died 
A. D. 29, and the time of this inscription must come in between 
A. D. 14 and A. D. 29. Here, then, is an inscription from 
Abila itself, which says plainly that there was a tetrarch 
Lysanias in Abilene at the very time to which Luke refers. 
Plummer had already said that such a mistake on Luke s part 
was "very improbable." Now we know that it is the subjec 
tive critics who were wrong, not Luke. Once more the very 
stones have leaped up from the ground and have cried out in 
defense of the historical accuracy of Luke concerning Lysanias 
the tetrarch. 

2. The Length of Christ s Stay in the Tomb. There are vari 
ous other chronological problems in Luke s Gospel, such as the 
three journeyings to Jerusalem (Luke 9:51; 13:22; 17:11), 
interpreted by some as only one, but most likely the three 
mentioned in John (7:2ff.; ll:17f.; 12:1). Lieutenant- 
Colonel G. Mackinlay 4 seeks to prove that Luke has three 
parallel narratives. I have endeavored to show 5 that Luke 
(like Matthew and Mark) really has the death of Christ on 
the same day as John, and ate the Passover at the regular time. 
Luke agrees with all the Gospels as to the length of Christ s 
stay in the tomb, but makes the matter clearer than any of 

1 Cf . Boeckh, Corp. Inscr. Gr., 4523, 4521. 

2 The Expositor, January, 1913. 

3 Bearing of Recent Discovery, p. 298. 4 A Difficulty Removed, 1919. 
6 Broadus s Harmony of the Gospels, pp. 253-7. 


them. Luke notes (23 : 54) that the day of the death and 
burial of Jesus "was the day of the Preparation, and the Sab 
bath drew on" (or dawned). The word for "Preparation" x is 
to-day the name for Friday in modern Greek. It was the 
technical name for the day before the Sabbath. The word for 
"drew on" 2 literally means the coming of light, but it was 
used not simply of the dawning of the twelve-hour day, but 
also of the twenty-four-hour day. Matthew (28 : 1) uses it as 
Luke does here: "Now late on the Sabbath day, as it began 
to dawn toward the first day of the week." The first day 
began at sundown, the Jewish way of reckoning. Luke adds 
that "on the Sabbath they (the women) rested according to 
the commandment." Thus we have a part of Friday after 
noon (the burial) and all of the Sabbath day. Then Luke adds 
(24 : 1) : "But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, 3 they 
came unto the tomb, bringing the spices which they had pre 
pared" (cf. Matt. 28 : 1 and Mark 16 : 1). At sunrise (Mark 
16 : 1 ; John 20 : 1) Jesus was already risen from the tomb. 
It is not possible to escape this piece of chronology as Luke 
has recorded it, unless Luke is in error. There is no evidence 
that he is incorrect. The use of "after three days" a few 
times cannot set aside so plain a narrative. Luke represents 
Christ as saying that he rose on the third day (24: 7). Luke 
has "on the third day" (9:22) where Mark (10:34) has 
"after three days." Free vernacular in all languages uses the 
fuller phrase without meaning full seventy-two hours. "On 
the third day" cannot be understood as meaning "on the 
fourth day," while ."after three days" can be understood to 
mean "on the third day." So the matter stands against all 
theories to the contrary. 

3. Theudas. The case of Theudas is a test case of one s 
confidence in Luke. As yet there is no clear solution of the 
apparent contradiction between Luke and Josephus. In Acts 
5 : 36 f . Luke mentions the revolt of Judas the Galilean as 
after the revolt of Theudas. Josephus 4 mentions both of 
them in the same order as Luke (Theudas and Judas), though 
twenty lines apart, but Josephus explains that the revolt of 
Judas took place in the time of the great census under Quirinius 
in A. D. 6, while the revolt under Theudas occurred under the 

1 xapowxeu^j. 

SpOpou pae&os. Ant. XX, v, 1 f. 


Emperor Claudius, when Cuspius Fadus was Roman procura 
tor (A. D. 44-46). Luke not only has the chronology reversed, 
but reports Gamaliel as speaking of the revolt of Theudas 
that, according to Josephus, took place some thirty years 
after his speech. 

One explanation is that Luke read Josephus and was misled 
by the mere order there, and failed to see the real dates, and 
so misrepresented Josephus. But that makes Luke very care 
less in this use of Josephus, if he did use him. But the differ 
ences are so great that scholars like Schuerer, 1 who dates Luke 
after Josephus, say that Luke either did not read Josephus at 
all or forgot all that he had read. 2 We have seen already that 
Luke in all probability wrote the Acts before 70 A. D. So we 
may dismiss the idea of any use of Josephus. 

But the discrepancy remains. It is suggested by some that 
Luke merely reports Gamaliel, who is responsible for the error, 
if it is one. But Luke would hardly let it pass in that case 
with no comment. 

At bottom we are called on to choose between the accuracy 
of Luke and of Josephus, unless both are right. Both can only 
be right on the hypothesis that there were two men by the 
name of Theudas who raised a revolt. Rackham 3 thinks that 
" in all probability both are right. There were similar disturb 
ances throughout this period, as Josephus himself testifies. 
Theudas is a contracted form, which may stand for a number 
of names Theodotus, Theodosius, Theodorus, etc., so it is 
quite possible that different persons are referred to." Ram 
say 4 holds that "there is no real difficulty in believing that 
more than one impostor may have borne or taken the name 
Theudas." Nosgen 5 observes that "Josephus describes four 
men bearing the name Simon within forty years, and three 
that of Judas within ten years, all of whom were instigators of 

But, suppose both do refer to the same man and event, who 
is to be believed? Furneaux 6 says: "There is no reason for 
doubting the accuracy of Josephus chronology at this point; 
and the remarkable accuracy of Luke s historical narrative is 

1 Lucas und Josephs (Zeitschrift f, Krit. Theol, 1876, p. 574). 

2 Cf . Sanday, Bampton Lectures, 1893, p. 278. 

8 Comm., p. 74. * Was Christ Born at Bethlehem f, p. 259. 

6 Apostelgeschichte, p. 147. 6 fiomm., in loco. 


no sufficient ground for denying the possibility of inaccuracy 
in a speech composed, at least to some extent, by himself. " 
We are not assuming in our studies that Luke could not be 
inaccurate in any particular. We only ask that he be treated 
as fairly as Josephus. Who has the best reputation as a reli 
able historian, Luke or Josephus? To-day Luke stands far 
above Josephus. "In his Antiquities Josephus corrects many 
mistakes which he made in his earlier work on the Jewish 
War." 1 

But in all candor we must admit that this difficulty has not 
yet been solved. "We have to leave the difficulty unsolved. 
We must hope for the discovery of further evidence. Mean 
time, no one who finds Luke to be a trustworthy historian in 
the rest of his History will see any difficulty hi this passage." 
Thus Ramsay 2 avows his willingness to trust Luke till he is 
proven to be wrong. That has not been done as to Acts 5 : 36 f . 
Luke has won the right to be credited till he is shown to be in 
error. We can wait here for further light. 

4. Paul s Visits to Jerusalem. There are certainly four, 
probably five, of these visits of Paul to the Jewish metropolis 
after his conversion (Acts 9:26-30; ll:29f. and 12:25; 
15 : 2-29; probably 18 : 22; 21 : 17-23 : 30). In themselves they 
offer no difficulty. It is only when we turn to Galatians that 
trouble arises. In Galatians 1 : 18 and 2 : 1 Paul speaks of 
two visits to Jerusalem. The visit in Acts 9 : 26 and Gal. 1 : 18 
is the same. But where does Gal. 2 : 1 come in ? Is it the 
visit in Acts 11 : 29 or 15 : 2 ? Galatians was certainly written 
before the visits in Acts 18 : 22 and 21 : 17. It would not seem 
to matter much except that in Gal. 2 : 1-10 and Acts 15 : 2-29 
the Judaizing controversy is up for discussion. Lake, 3 how 
ever, denies this and says "the subject is not the same at all." 
He holds that in Galatians the subject "is merely whether the 
mission to the uncircumcised should be continued, while in 
Acts the circumcision of the Gentiles is the main point." But 
surely that is a misapprehension of Gal. 2 : 1-10, where Paul 
so stoutly refused to allow Titus to be circumcised on the 
demand of the timid brethren to satisfy the Judaizers. Ram 
say has urged that Paul means that he was not compelled to 

1 Rackham, Comm., note 2, p. 74. 

2 Was Christ Born at Bethlehem ?, p. 259. 

* Hastings s Diet, of the Ap. Ch. (" Acts "). 


circumcise Titus, but did it voluntarily. But that theory 
makes incomprehensible Paul s vehemence in the matter. 

Quite a group of modern scholars obviate the apparent con 
tradiction between the two reports in Gal. 2 : 1-10 and Acts 
15 : 2-29, by making them accounts of different events. It is 
argued that in Gal. 2 : 1-10 Paul really has in mind the visit 
to Jerusalem in Acts 11 : 29. It is urged that this view is 
necessary because Paul in Galatians records all the visits that 
he made to Jerusalem. But that is not the point in Galatians. 
There Paul is asserting his independence of the Twelve Apos 
tles and showing that his authority was on a par with theirs. 
He mentions in Gal. 1 : 18 f . that he saw only Cephas of the 
Twelve, and made only a pleasant visit. In Acts 11 : 29 f. 
only "the elders" are mentioned. It is possible that the 
Apostles were absent on this occasion. If so, Paul would not 
need to refer to this visit. Lightfoot in his Commentary on 
Galatians has made a powerful argument for the identification 
of Gal. 2:1-10 with Acts 15:2-29. His view is that in 
Galatians Paul refers to the private conference that took 
place between the two public gatherings, in which Paul won 
Peter, James and John to his view of Gentile freedom from 
Jewish ceremonialism. This is what concerned Paul s argu 
ment. In Acts Luke is not interested in that point, but nar 
rates the public gatherings when the programme was carried 
through. On the whole, this view still seems to be the most 
plausible explanation of the situation. One has only to keep 
clearly before him the purpose of Luke in the Acts. 

It is not necessary here to discuss what was done at the 
Jerusalem conference in Acts 15, and whether the text in D is 
to be followed which omits "things strangled," and adds the 
golden rule in negative form. This text makes no demands 
of the Gentiles at all save purely moral issues (fornication, 
murder, idolatry). On the whole, the other text is most likely 

It is even argued by some that Galatians was written before 
the conference in Acts 15, and so Gal. 2 : 1-10 could not refer 
to the same event. This view is advocated by Round, 1 Emmet, 2 
Bartlet, 3 Lake 4 and Ramsay. 5 But M. Jones 6 holds that 

1 The Date of Galatians. * Comm. on Galatians. 

8 Apostolic Age, p. 84. 4 Lake, Earlier Epistles of St. Paul. 

6 Expositor, viii, 5, pp. 127 f . 6 N. T. in Twentieth Century, p. 248. 


such a view utterly discredits Luke. "Acts has, however, an 
equal claim to be heard on this point, and if the early date of 
Galatians is adopted it becomes exceedingly difficult to credit 
the author with any historical accuracy, much less regard 
him as a historian of first rank." Jones is not able to under 
stand how Ramsay, in particular, "the strongest living advo 
cate of the historical value of Acts," is able to reconcile the 
early date of Galatians "with the repudiation of his (Luke s) 
clear statement which this date of Galatians involves." Jones 1 
feels that "the historical value of the book reaches its climax 
in the discussion of the story of the Apostolic Council in Jeru 
salem in Acts 15." The very fact that Ramsay has come 
round to the early date of Galatians and still takes the view 
that Luke s history is unsurpassed in respect of its trustworthi 
ness 2 is enough to make one pause. But, on the whole, I 
sympathize with Jones in his contention that the straight 
forward narrative of events in Acts calls for a date for Gala 
tians subsequent to the Jerusalem conference. We are not 
called upon here to settle the Galatian controversy, but only 
to say that it is gratuitous from the standpoint of Acts to 
create a difficulty by the early date of Galatians which does 
not exist on the theory of the late date. The data in Gala 
tians are wholly indecisive in themselves and readily allow the 
later date between II Corinthians and Romans which Light- 
foot proposed. That theory leaves both Paul and Luke intelli 
gible and reliable. It is not scientific and fair to Luke to foist 
upon Acts a view of Galatians that throws his historical data 
into a jumble. Once more we can say that Luke s credit as a 
historian is too great to be upset by a mere speculative theory 
as to the date of Galatians. I am not willing to say with 
Jones 3 that, "if the Epistle to the Galatians was written at 
this period, St. Luke must have entirely misconceived the 
situation, and he ceases to have any claim to our respect as a 
serious historian." But I do say that Luke s proved veracity 
as a historian stops the acceptance of a mere theory, by no 
means the most probable one, of the date of Galatians. Luke 

1 Ibid., p. 242. 

2 Bearing of Recent Discovery, p. 81. 

3 Op. cit., p. 249. Jones stands by this position against Plooij, who 
also adopts the view that Galatians is before the Jerusalem conference in 
Acts 15 (Expositor, June, 1919, pp. 444 f.). 


is entitled to that much consideration unless the earlier date 
can be proved true beyond controversy. 

5. The Death of Herod Agrippa I and the Famine in Judea. 
In Acts 11 : 27-30 Luke mentions the prophecy of the famine 
by Agabus and the contribution to the poor saints in Jerusalem 
by the Gentile (Greek) Church in Antioch which Barnabas and 
Saul turned over to the elders. Luke does not specifically say 
that the famine had actually begun when the money was sent, 
but Ramsay 1 rejects Lightfoot s view that the money was 
brought a year or more before the famine as not " a natural or 
a useful procedure." What was the date of the famine? 
Josephus (Ant. XX, v) places it in the procuratorship of 
Alexander, which ended in A. D. 48 and could not have begun 
before 45. So, then, A. D. 46 is the probable year. Orosius 
(VII, vi), a writer of the fifth century, locates the beginning of 
the famine in the fourth year of Claudius, which would be 
A. D. 45. The beginning of the current year of reckoning has 
always to be borne in mind, and Ramsay 2 notes a failure 
always to do this in Turner s "Chronology of the N. T." in 
Hastings s D. B. So, then, the years 45 and 46 can very well 
be the years of the famine. 

^ Luke (Acts 12 : 20-23) gives the death of Herod before men 
tioning the return of Barnabas and Saul to Antioch (12 : 25), 
though verse 24 suggests an interim of some sort, and verse 25 
really belongs to the story of chapter 13. The precise sequence 
of events in chapters 11 and 12 is not clear. Herod Agrippa 
killed James the brother of John (12:2) and put Peter in 
prison, who, on his miraculous release, left the city (12: 17). 
Was this persecution of the Apostles by Herod after the visit 
of Barnabas and Saul or before? The coins 3 say that Herod 
Agrippa I reigned nine years, while Josephus asserts that he 
died in the seventh year of his reign. The coins are considered 
spurious by some, and others think that Josephus reckons 
from A. D. 39, when the tetrarchy of Antipas was added to 
the rule of Herod, instead of 37, when he was appointed king 
of the tetrarchy of Philip. In A. D. 41 Judea, Samaria and 
Abilene were added, so that till A. D. 44 Herod Agrippa I 
ruled over all of Palestine. Josephus contradicts himself in 

1 St. Paul the Traveller, p. 69. 

2 Was Christ Born at Bethlehem f, p. 222 f. 

3 Madden, Coins of the Jews, p. 130. 


the War and the Antiquities. On the whole, A. D. 44 appears 
as the most likely date for the death of Herod (so Turner). 

If this is true, we must think of the events of Acts 12 : 1-23 
(up to the death of Herod in A. D. 44) as happening before the 
famine in Judea of Acts 11 : 27-30 (A. D. 45-46) with the visit 
of Barnabas and Saul. In that case, the Apostles had left 
Jerusalem, and Barnabas and Saul performed their mission 
with the elders (11 : 30) and went back to Antioch with John 
Mark (12 : 25). The story is intelligible and Luke is con 
sistent. These two dates (A. D. 44 and 45-46) give us a fairly 
definite point of contact between Luke s narrative and the 
outside world. 

6. The Expulsion of the Jews from Rome. In Acts 18 : 2 
Luke says that Aquila and his wife Priscilla had "lately come 
from Italy," "because Claudius had commanded all the Jews 
to depart from Rome." Paul found them in Corinth on his 
arrival there from Athens (18: 1 f.). Here again Luke gives 
a point of contact with general history. When were the Jews 
expelled from Rome? Suetonius 1 mentions the event, but 
gives no date. Josephus and Tacitus fail to mention the fact. 
If Suetonius had not done so, this would have been another 
error charged up to Luke. Orosius (VII, vi, 15) says that it 
was in the ninth year of Claudius, which would put it about 
A. D. 50 as he counted the years. 2 This year suits very well 
Luke s narrative in Acts 18 : 1 f. 

7. Gallio s Proconsulship.Luke (Acts 18 : 12 ff.) says that 
Paul was brought to trial in Corinth "when Gallio was pro 
consul of Achaia." Turner in his notable article on the 
"Chronology of the N. T." (Hastings s D. .) had concluded 
that Gallio entered upon his proconsulship probably not before 
A. D. 50. But Deissmann in his St. Paul 3 has discussed the 
meaning of an inscription at Delphi, which refers to Gallio as 
proconsul, with the date the 26th "acclamation" of the Em 
peror Claudius. A Russian, A. Nikitsky, first published this 
inscription, 4 but Deissmann has shown 5 that "St. Paul must 
have come to Corinth in the first month of the year 50, and 
left Corinth late in the summer of the year 51," unless, for- 

1 Claudius, 25. Judceos, impulsore Christo, assidue tumultuantes Roma 

2 Ramsay, Was Christ Born at Bethlehem ?, p. 223. 3 Appendix I. 

4 Epigraphical Studies at Delphi, 1898. *0p. cit., p. 256. 


sooth, the years are 51 and 52 respectively. 1 The date of the 
27th acclamation of Claudius is known by an inscription to be 
August 1, A. D. 52. So, then, Gallio was proconsul before 
that date. We know that "the 22nd, 23rd, and 24th acclama 
tions all came in the llth tribunician year" of Claudius (Lake), 
which was January 25, A. D, 51, to January 24, A. D. 52. 
The date of the 25th acclamation has not been found, " so that 
really the end of 51 is the earliest probable date for the 26th 
acclamation." 2 So, then, the Delphi inscription with the 
26th acclamation, while Gallio was proconsul, falls between 
the end of A. D. 51 and August 1, A. D. 52. The proconsul 
usually entered upon his office July 1. Gallio, then, began his 
office either July 1, A. D. 51, or July 1, A. D. 52. The latter 
date, though possible, would put less than a month between 
the 26th and the 27th acclamations. Paul had been a year 
and six months in Corinth before Gallio came (Acts 18:1). 
He did not stay long thereafter. Gallio was probably procon 
sul July 1, A. D. 51, to July 1, A. D. 52. If the Jews brought 
Paul before Gallio soon after he came into office, Paul probably 
left Corinth in the late summer or early autumn of A. D. 51. 
He came to Corinth in the early months of A. D. 50, which 
date agrees with the previous date already arrived at in this 
chapter. While in Corinth, during A. D. 50-51, Paul wrote the 
two Epistles to the Church in Thessalonica. 

All things considered, the Delphi inscription gives us the 
one certain date in Paul s ministry and in the Book of Acts. 
All other dates must now be made to conform to the new light 
here turned upon the chronology of the Acts and of Paul s 
Epistles. The first mission tour (A. D. 46 and 47, or 47 and 
48) follows the famine and visit of Barnabas and Saul to Jeru 
salem (A. D. 45-46). The Jerusalem conference could come 
also in A. D. 48 and the new tour begin in A. D. 48, with the 
arrival in Corinth, A. D. 50. All dates in Acts and Paul s 
Epistles have to be on a sliding scale. M. Jones 3 has made a 
fine survey of A New Chronology of the Life of St. Paul, by 
Plooij, 4 a Dutch scholar, who has gone over the whole ground 
afresh. But we strike terra firma in the Delphi inscription. 

8. The Coming of Festus.Luke says (Acts 24:27): "But 

1 Ibid., p. 255. 2 Lake, Hastings s Diet, of Ap. Ch. 

8 The Expositor, May, June and August, 1910. 
4 De Chronologie van het leven van Paulus. 


when two years were fulfilled, Felix was succeeded by Porcius 
Festus." Here again we come upon a note of time in touch 
with the Roman world, but unfortunately the date is pecu 
liarly uncertain. Lightfoot picked out the death of Herod 
Agrippa I in A. D. 44 (45 for Paul s second visit) and the 
voyage of Paul and Luke to Rome in A. D. 60 as the foci for 
fixing Paul s career. "We have thus ascertained two fixed 
dates in the chronology of St. Paul s life A. D. 45 for his 
second journey to Jerusalem and A. D. 60 for his voyage to 
Rome. The former of these being an isolated event in St. 
Luke s narrative is of little value comparatively for our pur 
pose; but from the latter the whole of the known chronology of 
St. Paul s life is determined, by means of the notices in the 
Acts of the sequence of events and the time occupied by them, 
together with occasional allusions in the Epistles." 1 But, 
unfortunately, the date of the coming of Festus is by no means 
clear. Lightfoot argued that Paul on his arrival at Rome was 
turned over "to the prefect of the prsetorium" 2 according to 
the reading of some manuscripts for Acts 28 : 16, and so it was 
while Burrhus was in office. He died in 62, and 61 would be 
a good date. But Ramsay 3 shows that this officer was most 
likely the Princeps Peregrinorum, and the argument about 
Burrhus is beside the point. Eusebius places the coming of 
Festus in place of Felix in the last year of Claudius, A. D. 54, 
but if Eusebius is right Luke is wrong, for we cannot add two 
years in Caesarea and time for other events from Corinth 
(A. D. 51) to Antioch, the three years in Ephesus, and the 
trip to Macedonia and to Corinth and then to Jerusalem, and 
then two years in Csesarea under Felix, all by A. D. 54. The 
thing cannot be done. We have stuck a peg in Corinth when 
Gallio came in A. D. 51. Who is right here, Eusebius or 
Luke? Ramsay 4 confesses that his prejudices were all in 
favor of Eusebius, and he was not willing to admit that he had 
" committed an inexplicable blunder." But Erbes 5 gave Ram 
say 6 the clew to the mistake of Eusebius. Eusebius overlooked 

1 "The Chronology of St. Paul s Life and Epistles" (Biblical Essays, 
pp. 220 f.). 

2 T$ crpaToxeSdcpxT}. 3 St. Paul the Traveller, p. 347. 
4 "The Pauline Chronology" (Pauline and Other Studies, p. 349). 
B "Todestage Pauli und Petri" (Gebhardt and Harnack s Texte und 

Untersuch., XIV, 1). 
6 Pauline and Other Studies, p. 350. 


the interregnum between Herod Agrippa I, who died in A. D. 44, 
and Herod Agrippa II, who began to reign A. D. 50, not A. D. 
45. So the tenth year of his reign when Festus came was 
A. D. 59. This comes very close to the date of Lightfoot, 
who made A. D. 60 as the date of the recall of Felix and the 
coming of Festus. We may, therefore, accept A. D. 59 as the 
time when Festus came to Csesarea. Ramsay 1 even thinks 
that Acts 20 : 5 ff. shows that Paul celebrated Passover in 
Philippi Thursday, April 7, A. D. 57. At any rate, that is in 
accord with the other dates shown to be probable. Jones 2 
agrees that "Felix was relieved by his successor Festus, some 
time in the summer of 59." The two years of Paul s imprison 
ment in Csesarea, therefore, were the summer of A. D. 57 to 
summer of A. D. 59. Zenos 3 still argues for A. D. 60 for the 
coming of Festus, but A. D. 59 has the best of it at the pres 
ent. Luke comes out with flying colors in these various chron 
ological tests in every instance save that of Theudas. In that 
instance, for the present, we must suspend judgment. 

Harnack 4 gives an interesting summary of the chronological 
data in the Acts, where occur statements of years, months, 
days, feasts and indefinite dates. They make a considerable 
list. Harnack notes that nowhere in Acts does Luke give a 
scientific dating of any event, as in Luke 3:1. That is true, 
but, as we have seen, he frequently connects his narrative with 
the stream of history in his time, so that we are now able to 
draw a reasonably accurate and clear outline for the chronol 
ogy of the whole of Acts. Ramsay 5 says that "Luke was 
deficient in the sense for time; and hence his chronology is 
bad." That is only true so far as making definite dates and 
keeping the relative proportion of dates. He is far better in 
this than most of the ancients, who did not have our concern 
for outstanding dates. 

1 Pauline Studies, p. 352. 

2 " A New Chronology of the Life of St. Paul " (The Expositor, August, 
1919, p. 117). 

3 Article "Dates" in Hastings s Diet, of Ap. Church. 

4 Acts of the Apostles, pp. 6-30. 
6 St. Paul the Traveller, p. 18. 



"And the lictors reported these words unto the praetors" (Acts 

1. The Test of Historical Geography. The historian, if he is 
not a mere rhetorician and word-painter, must call names and 
titles and places as well as dates. We have seen how Luke 
fares under the test of modern scholarship in the matter of 
chronology. It remains to examine his treatment of points of 
archaeological and geographical interest. If Josephus crosses 
Luke s path in historical details, Strabo in his geography trav 
erses much of the same ground that Luke traces in the Acts. 
But both Strabo and Xenophon tell much less than Luke 
does concerning certain parts of Asia Minor through which 
Paul journeyed. When Ramsay 1 began his researches for the 
reconstruction of the history and geography of Asia Minor, he 
was confronted with the fact that "if Luke s narrative was 
trustworthy, it was for me exceptionally valuable, as giving 
evidence on a larger scale. There was nothing else like it. 
No other ancient traveller has left an account of the journeys 
which he made across Asia Minor; and if the narrative of 
Paul s travels rests on first-class authority, it placed in my 
hands a document of unique and exceptional value to guide 
my investigations." 2 With this idea in mind Ramsay set to 
work to test Luke s record in Acts from the standpoint of a 
modern archaeological expert. Ramsay had made Asia Minor 
under Roman rule his peculiar province, and by years of travel 
and research on the ground had gained a mass of fresh knowl 
edge possessed by no other living scholar. He endeavored to 
treat Luke as he would Strabo or Xenophon: 3 "This prepos 
session, that Christian authors lie outside the pale of real 
literature and that early Christians were not to be estimated 
as men, has been the enemy for me to attack ever since I began 

1 See his Historical Geography of Asia Minor. 

2 Bearing of Recent Discovery, p. 81. Ibid., p. 83. 



to look into the Christian authors with unprejudiced eyes." 
As an instance of how men allow prejudice to shut their eyes 
to the truth, Ramsay 1 notes that in Acts 21 : 15 Luke says 
that "a large party of travellers used horses, a statement inter 
preted and confirmed by Chrysostom," though, he adds, "it 
has seemed almost sacrilegious to some modern scholars to 
suggest that Paul even made a journey except on foot." Ram 
say 2 has found about the New Testament writers that "in 
becoming Christians those writers did not cease to be men: 
they only gained that element of thoroughness, of sincerity 
and enthusiasm, the want of which is so unpleasing in later 
classical literature." 

Luke has stood the test with wonderful success. Moffatt 3 
speaks of "Luke s remarkable degree of accuracy in geographi 
cal, political, and social data," though he insists that "he must 
be judged by the canons of his age, and in the light of his 
opportunities." Lightfoot, 4 Vigoroux 5 and Ramsay 6 have all 
borne testimony to the value of Luke in these respects. Head- 
lam 7 observes that " a great test of the accuracy of the writer 
in the last twelve chapters is given by the evidence from arche 
ology." The opportunity for pitfalls is here very great. Har- 
nack 8 devotes a whole chapter to "Lands, Nations, Cities, and 
Houses" in the Acts. One of Ramsay s most helpful volumes 
is his Cities of St. Paul. The inscriptions have been found of 
great value in their sidelights on Luke s story. One of the 
most modern ideas is to note the influence of geography upon 
the life of a people, as in Palestine, Egypt, Greece and Asia 
Minor. We see it to-day in America and in Europe. The 
point of it all is that Luke was in the atmosphere of the first 
century himself, else he could not have stepped so securely 
in the mass and maze of shifting political scenes. 
2. Roman Provinces. Luke wrote of the Roman world and 
in the Roman world, but "Luke is throughout his work a 
Greek, never a Roman," and " speaks of things Roman as they 

1 Ibid. 2 Church in the Roman Empire, p. 176. 

3 Introduction to the Lit. of N. T., p. 304. 

4 Essays on Supernatural Religion, pp. 291-305. 

6 Le nouveau Testament, 1889, et les decouvertes archceologigues modernes, 

6 Church in the Roman Empire, chaps. II-VIII. 

7 Hastings s D. B. ("Acts"). 

8 The Acts of the Apostles, chap. II. 


appeared to a Greek." 1 He may have been a Roman citizen, 
but his outlook was that of a Greek. "To Luke the great 
antithesis Gentile and Jew quite obliterated the lesser dis 
tinction between Roman citizen and Roman provincial, when 
the provincial was a Greek." 2 Luke "regularly uses the pop 
ular phraseology, and not the strictly and technically accurate 
terms for Roman things," but all the same "he is never guilty 
of the blunders that puzzle the epigraphist in Asian or Gala- 
tian inscriptions." All the more surprising, therefore, is the 
minute accuracy of Luke in the matter of the Roman prov 
inces. In the Roman Empire there were provinces and vassal 
kingdoms. There were constant changes, as can be seen in 
Palestine, which was a vassal kingdom under Herod the Great. 
On his death, B. C. 4, it was divided into several tetrarchies 
(Luke 3:1) or petty provinces (Herod Antipas, tetrarch of 
Galilee and Samaria; Herod Philip, tetrarch of Iturea and 
Trachonitis; and Archelaus, ethnarch of Judea and Samaria, 
with hopes of a kingship). But Archelaus lost his rule in 
A. D. 6, and a Roman procurator (cf. Pontius Pilate) ruled 
over the secondary province of Judea (and Samaria). But 
from A. D. 41-44 Herod Agrippa I was king of all Palestine, 
when Roman procurators come back, with headquarters in 
Csesarea, like Felix and Festus, termed "the governor" by 
Luke (Acts 24:1, 27). The temporary reign of Herod 
Agrippa I over Judea explains how he was able to compass 
the death of James the brother of John (Acts 12 : 1 f.) and to 
put Peter in prison (12 : 3 ff.). He clearly deserved the fate 
that befell him (12 : 20-23). Judea was rather a sort of client- 
state than a full province. It was under the supervision of 
the province of Syria and Cilicia and Phoenicia. The imperial 
provinces embraced about three-fourths of the empire. The 
proprsetors held office indefinitely while proconsuls were chosen 

Maclean observes that it is a good test of accuracy in a 
writer in the first century A. D. to examine whether he names 
the Roman governors rightly. There were two kinds of prov 
inces in the empire: the senatorial and the imperial. The 
senatorial provinces were under the control of the senate, and 
the governor was called proconsul. 3 The emperor governed 

1 Ramsay, Was Christ Born at Bethkhem ?, p. 52. 

2 Ibid., p. 53. s Av6uTOXTO<;. 


the imperial provinces and the governor was termed proprae 
tor. 1 Luke mentions six senatorial provinces: Achaia (Acts 
18:12; 19:21, etc.), Asia (2:9; 19:10,26, etc.), Crete and 
Cyrene (2:10,11; 27:7, 21, etc.), Cyprus (4:36; 13:4, 8, 
etc.), Bithynia and Pontus (2:9; 16:7, etc.), Macedonia 
(16 : 10, 11, etc.). So Luke rightly calls Gallio proconsul in 
Acts 18 : 12. Achaia had been joined to Macedonia and made 
imperial in A. D. 15, but in A. D. 44 it was again senatorial. 
So Luke is right. It was once claimed that Luke blundered 
in calling Sergius Paulus "proconsul" (Acts 13:8, 12) instead 
of "propraetor," on the ground that Cyprus was an imperial 
province. So it was once, but at this time it was a senatorial 
province, though soon afterward imperial again. But General 
Cesnola 2 has discovered an inscription on the north coast of 
Cyprus which is dated "in the proconsulship of Paulus," 
clearly the Sergius Paulus of Acts 13 : 8, 12. Ramsay 3 makes 
this year A. D. 47. Once more Luke is vindicated by the 

The six imperial provinces mentioned by Luke are Cappa- 
docia (Acts 2:9), Cilicia and Syria and Phoenicia (Acts 15 : 41, 
etc.), Egypt with title of prefect for governor (2 : 10), Galatia 
on the south Galatian theory (16:6; 18:23), Lycia (27:5), 
Pamphylia (2 : 10; 13 : 13; 27 : 5, etc.). There is, besides, the 
subordinate province of Judea, with its procurator subject to 
the propraetor in Syria. 

There was constant interchange of provinces between the 
emperor and the senate, but Luke ploughs his way safely 

3. Ethnographic Terminology. The Romans did not destroy 
the life of the peoples whom they conquered. They let the 
various nations keep up their customs and languages. In a 
broad and general way they allowed many religions to be 
observed, though all had to be licensed (religio licitd) and 
legalized. The prevalence of the emperor-cult led to severe 
persecution of Christianity when it came to be differentiated 
from Judaism. But the Roman provinces and kingdoms were 
administrative for convenience and efficiency. They were not 
drawn upon national and racial lines. But the old lines of 

1 See Mommsen, The Provinces of the Roman Empire. 
2 Cf. Hogarth, Devia Cypria, p. 114. 
3 Bearing of Recent Discovery, p. 157, 


race and national cleavage remained. The old languages con 
tinued to be spoken along with the current Greek (the Koine) 
and the official Latin. Thus Paul addressed the people of 
Lystra in Greek, as usual, but the multitude spoke "in the 
speech of Lycaonia" (Acts 14 : 11). Ramsay 1 thinks that "the 
issue of events showed that the Empire had made a mistake in 
disregarding so completely the existing lines of demarcation 
between tribes and races in making its new political provinces. 
For a time it succeeded in establishing them, while the energy 
of the Empire was still fresh, and its forward movement con 
tinuous and steady. But the differences of tribal and national 
character were too great to be completely set aside; they 
revived while the energy of the Empire decayed during the 
second century." But in the first century the Roman system 
was at its height. 

The popular terminology, however, survived all the while. 
There are abundant evidences of it in Acts, instances where 
Luke uses popular names for countries rather than official 
names of provinces. Thus we find Pisidia (Acts 13 : 14), 
Lycaonia (14 : 6, 11, etc.), Phrygia (16 : 6; 18 : 23) and Galatia 
(16 : 6; 18 : 23), if north Galatia is meant. Ramsay 2 points 
out how in southern Galatia (the southern part of the Roman 
province of Galatia), distinct Regiones* existed like Phrygia, 
Pisidia, Lycaonia (as distinct from Lycaonia Antiochiana which 
was ruled by King Antiochus). Ramsay insists on the accu 
racy of Luke in the description of these various regions. In 
any case he preserves the old ethnographic names. Ramsay 4 
argues that Iconium was not a part of Lycaonia, like Lystra 
and Derbe, though in the province of Galatia. We are not 
yet able to trace every detail in Roman provincial history and 
administration, but Luke is wholly in accord with all known 
facts in his use of names for the various divisions of Asia 
Minor in the first century. He sharply distinguishes Antioch 
in Pisidia from Antioch in Syria. 

4. Colonies. Philippi alone is termed a colony 5 by Luke 
(Acts 16 : 12), though various other cities are mentioned that 
were colonies at the time of the events narrated by Luke, 6 

1 St. Paul the Traveller, p. 136. 2 Ibid., p. 104. 

3 xwpat. Cities of St. Paul, pp. 350 ff. 

6 xaXwvfoc, Latin colonia. 

6 Cf. Souter, "Colony," Hastings s Diet, of Ap. Church. 


such as Corinth (since 27 B. C.), Lystra (since 12 B. C.), 
Pisidian Antioch (since before 27 B. C.), Ptolemais (since 
before A. D. 47), Puteoli (since 194 B. C.)> Syracuse (since 
21 B. C.), Troas (since about 20 B. C.), eight with Philippi. 
It is possible that Luke mentions the fact that Philippi was a 
colony because of his long residence there and his natural 
interest and pride in the city. It used to be said that Luke 
had blundered badly in applying the word "district" 1 to a 
division of a province like Macedonia at this tune. The 
Romans had divided the province into four districts B. C. 167. 
But an ancient Macedonian coin uses the word in this sense. 2 
At this time Amphipolis claimed the title of first city of the 
district in which Philippi was. But Philippi had its own pride 
in the matter and would not yield the title to its rival city. 
Lightfoot (in loco) suggests that by "first city of the district" 
Luke merely means geographical location, not importance. 
But Luke gives the touch of life to his narrative by this detail. 

The Roman colonies were small editions of Rome itself. 
Normally some three hundred Romans went out to establish 
the colony. These men remained Roman citizens, "a portion 
of Rome itself planted amidst a community not itself possessed 
of Roman citizenship" (Souter). These cities were advance- 
guards of the mother city. They were military outposts to 
hold in subjection the surrounding country. The various col 
onies were connected by military roads with each other and 
with Rome itself. At first the men were citizen-soldiers, but 
in time of peace the military aspect was not so prominent. 
" It was an honor for a provincial city to be made into a colonia, 
because this was proof that it was of special importance, spe 
cially dear to the Emperor, and worthy to be the residence of 
Roman citizens, who were the aristocracy of the provincial 
towns in which they lived" (Souter). The Greeks knew how 
to colonize with skill. The Romans followed a different plan, 
but with success. The British have learned how to plant 
colonies and to give them freedom that stood the strain of the 
World War. 

There were other cities that had special privileges. These 
free cities, as they were called, had self-government within the 
Roman province -where they were. Luke mentions Athens, 
Ephesus, Thessalonica and Tarsus. The Romans did not 
2 Cf . Ramsay, Church in the Roman Empire, p. 158. 


give a provincial constitution to a country without a certain 
amount of civilization. The free cities and the colonies were 
points of power. Paul went to the colonies and to the free 
cities as centres of influence. The colonies held themselves 
above the other cities. 

5. Roman Citizenship. One could be a citizen of a free city 
like Tarsus and not be a Roman citizen. Paul was proud of 
his native city and had a right to be: "I am a Jew, of Tarsus 
in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city" (Acts 21 : 39). Ramsay 1 
has shown what it meant to Paul to live as a boy in this great 
educational centre, this Greek city in the Orient. Those who 
were not bom Roman citizens could acquire it by purchasers 
Claudius Lysias did (Acts 22 : 28), sometimes through infamous 
court favorites. Roman citizenship was sometimes bestowed 
as a reward for services to the state, as may have been the case 
with Paul s father or grandfather, according to Maclean s 
conjecture. 2 Proud as Paul was of being a citizen of Tarsus, 
he was much more so of his Roman citizenship. With simple 
dignity he said to Claudius Lysias: "But I am a Roman born" 
(Acts 22 : 28). Luke takes careful note of Paul s pride in and 
use of his Roman citizenship. Souter 3 observes that the an 
cient Greeks and Romans had a higher conception of citizen 
ship than we have to-day: "To the ancient member of a polls 
or civitas citizenship was life and life was citizenship." When 
Paul spoke to the Sanhedrin in Acts 23 : 1, "Brethren, I have 
lived before God in all good conscience until this day," he used 
the word to live as a citizen. 4 Paul made use of his rights as 
a Roman citizen to carry on his work of evangelization. "It 
was no doubt this citizenship which gave Paul such an advan 
tage as the Apostle of the Gentiles, and which inspired him 
with the great plan of utilizing the civilization of the Roman 
state to spread the gospel along the lines of communication." 5 

It has been objected that Paul did not take advantage of 
his citizenship in time to prevent the scourging in Philippi 
without a fair trial. But it is doubtful if the magistrates 
allowed Paul to say aught in reply to the claptrap of the mas 
ter of the girl whom Paul had freed (Acts 16 : 21-23). It looks 

1 Cities of St. Paul, part II. 

2 One Vol. Hastings s D. B. (" Paul "). 

3 Hastings s Diet, of Ap. Church ("Citizenship"). 

4 ireicoMceuncK. 6 Maclean, ibid. 


as if the mob made such a clamor that Paul had no chance to 
defend himself. But next morning, when the magistrates 
sent word for Paul and Silas to be released, Paul had his oppor 
tunity: "They have beaten us publicly, uncondemned, men 
that are Romans, and have cast us into prison; and do they 
now cast us out privily? Nay verily; but let them come them 
selves and bring us out" (16 : 37). His words had the desired 
effect, for the magistrates "feared when they heard that they 
were Romans." Silas was evidently a Roman citizen also. 
In Philippi Roman citizenship was properly appreciated and 
Paul won his freedom and an apology. The rights of Roman 
citizenship included exemption from degrading punishment, 
like scourging and crucifixion, the right to a fair trial, the right 
of appeal to the Emperor for sentence after trial and in the 
case of capital offense the right of appeal to Caesar before trial. 
Paul was wholly within his rights, therefore, when he grew 
weary of the insincerity of Festus after the long delays of 
Felix and said: "I appeal to Caesar" (25: 11). Festus recog 
nized Paul s right in the matter (25 : 12), though he felt embar 
rassed by the lack of definite charges against Paul (25 : 27). 
There was grim humor in Agrippa s conclusion: "This man 
might have been set at liberty if he had not appealed unto 
Caesar" (26 : 32). He could have been set at liberty any time 
for more than two years if Felix and Festus had really wished 
to do what they knew was right in the case. 

Paul was a citizen of heaven as well as of Tarsus and of 
Rome. He employs the word for the Christian life: "Only let 
your manner of life 1 be worthy of the gospel of Christ" (Phil. 
1 : 27). In Phil. 3 : 20 2 Paul says: "For our citizenship is in 
heaven" (Moffatt has it: "For we are a colony of heaven"). 

Luke was a Greek and may himself have been a Roman 
citizen. At any rate, he alone employs the word "citizen" 3 
in the Gospel: "He went and joined himself to one of the citi 
zens of that country" (Luke 15: 15); "But his citizens hated 
him" (19:14). 

6. Local Color. There are many touches of local color in 
Luke s writings, particularly the Acts, that are of great inter 
est. In some of these cases difficulties once existed that dis- 

See my book on The New Citizenship. 
2 In P. Held. 6 (4 A. D.) we find: T^JV jcoXtTe(a[v o]ou evv o6pavq>. 


coveries have removed. In Acts 7 : 16 Luke quotes Stephen 
as saying that Abraham bought the burial-place in Shechem. 
According to Gen. 23 : 16 Abraham purchased the cave of 
Machpelah from Ephron the Hittite in Hebron. Jacob bought 
a field of the sons of Hamor in Shechem (Gen. 33 : 19; Joshua 
24:32). There were two purchases and Knowling (in loco) 
suggests that, since Shechem was the earliest settlement of 
Abraham, and he set up an altar there, he probably bought a 
piece of land there also. But even so Jacob was buried in the 
cave of Machpelah according to Gen. 1 : 13, while Joseph was 
buried in Shechem (Joshua 24 : 32). There were two burials, 
also. Jerome says that the tombs of the Patriarchs were 
shown at Shechem. It must be admitted that no clear solu 
tion of this matter has yet been found. If it is an error, it 
may belong to Stephen or to Luke. Moffatt 1 observes that 
Luke was not as much at home in the topography of Palestine 
as of Asia Minor. 

In Pisidian Antioch Luke speaks of "the first men of the 
city" as a title. These were the Duumviri and the "First 
Ten." Greek cities in the East had a board of magistrates 
with this title. Luke uses the correct title for these officers, 
as he does in Acts 28 : 7, where he calls Publius " the First 
Man" of the island of Malta. A Latin inscription and a 
Greek inscription both apply the same title to two officers of 
Malta. Knowling (in loco) and Ramsay 2 argue that it is not 
a mere honorary appellation, but a technical official title in 
the island. 

In Acts 14 : 8-18 Luke gives a vivid picture of heathen 
superstition in Lystra and of their notion that Barnabas and 
Paul were Jupiter and Mercury (Zeus and Hermes). Ovid 
has a story of the visit of these two gods to two Phrygian 
peasants, Baucis and Philemon. The Greeks looked on 
strangers as possible gods in human form. A coin of Lystra 
has a picture of a priest leading two oxen to sacrifice just as 
they were proceeding to offer them for Paul and Barnabas. 
The whole story is true to life as we now know it was lived in 
Lystra. Ramsay 3 says that excavation at Lystra is greatly 
needed and probably more discoveries will be made here. 

In Philippi Luke (Acts 16:20) mentions both "praetors" 4 

1 Intr. to Lit. of N. T., p. 305. 2 St. Paul the Traveller, p. 343. 

3 Cities of St. Paul, p. 413 * 


and "lictors," 1 the correct technical titles in a colony and as 
sumed by the magistrates in Philippi. 

In Thessalonica, however, Luke (Acts 17 : 6) notes a curious 
official title found nowhere else. The rulers of the city are 
called politarchs. 2 No classical author employs this word for 
the magistrates of any city. Critics once scoffed at Luke for 
his carelessness and ignorance here. But now seventeen in 
scriptions have been found that use the title, thirteen of them 
in Macedonia and five in Thessalonica. 3 One of the inscrip 
tions spans an arch in Thessalonica and has the title politarch 
with the names of some of Paul s converts there (Sosipater, 
Gaius, Secundus). There were usually five or six politarchs 
at a time in Thessalonica. 

In Athens Luke not only knows the Areopagus (Acts 17 : 34) 
but he reproduces the local color with such skill that it is 
charged that he composed Paul s address in the classical at 
mosphere of the Parthenon. Stoics and Epicureans and the 
Athenian curiosity and ennui are drawn to the life. 

In Ephesus the worship of the temple of Diana is pictured 
(Acts 19 : 34) with the graphic portrayal of Demetrius and his 
labor-union (craftsmen), who are ready to do his bidding when 
self-interest was aroused. The Asiarchs 4 and the town clerk 5 
and the assembly 6 all belong to Ephesus. The Asiarchs super 
intended the worship of the Emperor in cities where there was 
a temple of Rome for the emperor-cult. "Their friendliness 
to St. Paul is a sure sign of an early date, for the book could 
only have been written while the Imperial policy was still 
neutral to Christianity." 7 Proconsul in 19 : 38 is the correct 
title for this senatorial province of Asia. Only one ruled at a 
time, however. 

It is not too much to say that Luke has come out mag 
nificently as the result of archaeological research. Ramsay s 
researches have proven that Luke in Acts reflects the nomen 
clature and the geography of the first century A. D. The dis- 

3 See Burton, American Journal of Theology, July, 1898, pp. 59S-632. 

4 Aac&pxac. See Ramsay s article in Hastings s D. B. for copious data 
and bibliography. 

6 YP<wTe6<;. See Moulton and Milligan, Vocabulary of the N. T., for 
numerous quotations from the papyri illustrating this and other uses of 

6 exxXTjafa 7 Maclean, One Vol. Hastings s D. B. 


coveries have vindicated him at every turn. Percy Gardner 1 
rather condescendingly admits that Luke "shows, it is true, a 
good deal of local and geographic knowledge, to which Sir 
W. M. Ramsay has rightly called attention." In a footnote 2 
he adds: "Of course, if a writer is at sea in his geographic and 
local facts, it is a proof of his general untrustworthiness." 
Quite so. But that is not the case with Luke. It is true that 
Harnack 3 wrote: "St. Luke is an author whose writings read 
smoothly, but one has only to look somewhat more closely to 
discover that there is scarcely another writer in the New Tes 
tament who is so careless an historian as he." That is a care 
less criticism that Harnack has not made good in his books 
on the Lukan writings. The facts in this chapter favor the 
view of Ramsay rather than that of Harnack. Ramsay rightly 
criticises Harnack for too much verbal quibbling over Luke s 
sources and for not enough knowledge of the actual environ 
ment in Asia Minor and in Europe. Ramsay has appealed to 
the inscriptions from the critics. The rocks in every instance 
have taken the side of Luke. 

1 Cambridge Biblical Essays, p. 391. * Ibid. 

3 Luke the Physician, p. 112. 


"An orator, one Tertullus" (Acts 24 : 1) 

Christianity had to find its place under Roman law. Luke 
seems well aware of this problem. 1 

1. Various Kinds of Law in the Roman Empire. Luke was 
not a lawyer, but he lived under Roman rule, and Roman law 
shows its hand toward Christianity in the Acts. "The student 
of Christian origins cannot neglect the influence which the law 
of the Roman Empire had on the infant Church." 2 Two law 
yers are mentioned by name in the New Testament, one a pro 
fessional Roman pleader and probably a heathen, Tertullus 
(Acts 24 : 1), the other a Christian worker, "Zenos the lawyer" 
(Titus 3 : 13). One must not confuse these Roman lawyers 
with the lawyers (or scribes) and doctors of the law in the 
Gospels. The Jewish lawyer was also a theologian, a doctor 
of canon and civil law (LL.D.). They were ecclesiastical law 
yers and preachers or teachers. 

So in the New Testament we see the reflection of Jewish, 
Greek and Roman law. And Greek law varied in different 
cities under local influences. Roman law appears in its pro 
vincial aspects as well as in its imperial forms. Roman judi 
cial procedure had a long historical development, and was 
finally codified (Justinian s Code) and lies at the basis of mod 
ern jurisprudence. But the Ten Commandments and the 
Sermon on the Mount have played a powerful part in making 
modern law more than mere technicalities. English common 
law is rooted in human rights, and Christ s demand for right 
eousness dominates the upright judge to-day. But in the 

Plooij, of Leyden, has argued (The Expositor, December, 1914, and 
February, 1917) that Luke wrote the Acts, specifically as an apology for 
Paul and for Christianity before the Roman council. Plooij goes so far 
as to call Luke juris studiosus. M. Jones replies to Plooij in The Expositor 
for March, 1915, but Plooij has made a point that deserves consideration. 

2 Maclean, Hastings s Diet, of Ap. Ch. ("Roman Law in the N, T.")- 



first century A. D. one met various kinds of law and Chris 
tianity had to square itself with existing institutions. Paul 
took his stand squarely on the side of law and order and urged 
"subjection to the higher powers" (Romans 13 : 1) as in the 
ory, at least, the agents of God for the preservation of order 
and justice. He urged prayer for all rulers, "that we may 
lead a quiet and tranquil life in all godliness and gravity" (I 
Tim. 2:2).* 

In the Greek cities of Asia Minor, which in many cases had 
an excellent system of law already in force, the Romans re 
spected the old law and customs and did not enforce Roman 
legal procedure, just as they did not interfere with the Greek 
language, "reserving Latin for state occasions" (Maclean). 

So in Heb. 9 : 16 f . the will 2 seems to be of the Roman kind, 
like ours, which is in effect only on the death of the testator. 
We get our Old Testament and New Testament from the Latin 
translation of the Greek word, which also means covenant, as 
in Gal. 3 : 15, though here the Greek idea of will is possible. 
The Greek will, once recorded, was irrevocable. With us, alas, 
one never knows when a will is binding, once the lawyers get 
hold of it. The best way to-day to give money is to give it 
before one dies. A man can be his own administrator, as 
Andrew Carnegie was. In Gal. 4 : 2 the father names the 
date at which the child becomes of age, according to Greek 
law. Roman law made the child stay under a tutor 3 (or 
guardian) till fourteen, and under a curator 4 (or steward) till 
twenty-five. Gal. 4 follows Roman law in respect of the 
tutor and curator but Greek law in the matter of appointing 
the term of their office. In Greek and Roman law the mas 
ter s son by a slave was also slave, but free under Hebrew law. 
So in Gal. 4 : 21-31 (Isaac and Ishmael) we see Greek and 
Roman law interpreted in a way to appeal to the Galatians 
who lived under it. So Luke writes in a world of complicated 
legal processes. 

1 See Ball, St. Paul and the Roman Law (1901); Buss, Roman Law and 
History in the N. T. (1901); Hicks, Traces oj Greek Philosophy and Roman 
Law in the N. T. (1896); Ramsay, The Church in the Roman Empire (1893). 

2 Sca0ifjxTQ. Same word ^for will and covenant. Moulton and Milligan 
(Vocabulary, p. 1480) say: "In papyri and inscrr. the word means testa 
ment, will, with absolute unanimity and such frequency that illustration 
is superfluous." 

3 lictTpdrcouq (Gal. 4:2). ofxov6txou<; (Gal. 4:2). 


In Gal. 3 : 23-25 the picture of the law (Jewish law) as the 
child-guardian or pedagogue 1 before the age of faith is after 
the Greek, not the Roman idea of guardian. Ramsay 2 calls it 
"that characteristic Greek institution" which the Galatians 
considered "salutary and good." "Their duty was not to 
teach any child under their charge, but simply to guard him." 3 
The Roman pedagogue was not so highly esteemed, and had 
no regard to the moral side of the child s life, though he also 
accompanied the child to school, as did the Greek pedagogue. 
The Roman failure with the education of the children, Ram 
say thinks, led to the disintegration of the moral fibre and of 
the national life. Luke, like Paul, wrote in a world where the 
Graeco-Roman civilization flourished. He makes his way 

2. Law in the Colonies. Here Latin was used in municipal 
deeds and in trials, though Greek would usually be the language 
of commerce and every-day life. There was no senate 4 in the 
colonies, but councils (decuriones) 5 and Roman names for the 
officers as magistrates 6 (praetor es) in Acts 16 : 20, 22, 35 f., and 
Serjeants 7 (lictors) at Philippi. The business interests of 
Philippi used Roman legal procedure against Paul. The forms 
of Roman law are insisted upon by the masters of the poor 
girl (16 : 21), while Paul pointedly shows the various items in 
the Roman law that the magistrates or rulers (archons) (16 : 19) 
had violated (16 : 37). Paul does not mean that it would have 
been proper to flog them if they had been condemned. That 
was simply another item in their mistreatment of Roman citi 
zens. Luke has not misunderstood Roman law in his report 
here. He aptly pictures the fear of the Roman magistrates 
because of their cowardice before the business men and the 

In Antioch of Pisidia, another colony, Paul left before he 
faced the civil authorities, "the chief men of the city" 8 (Acts 
13 : 50), the technical title for the city officials here. The Jews, 
especially the rabbis, "were filled with jealousy" (13 : 45), and 
"urged on the devout women of honorable estate" (13:50), 
probably Gentile women of the aristocracy who had become 

1 xatSa-ro)Y6?. z St. Paul s Epistle to the Galatians, p. 382. 

3 Ibid., p. 383. 4 pouX^j. 

6 Ramsay, Galatians, pp. 117, 182. 

6 7 8 TO&? 


attendants at the synagogue, "God-fearers" like Cornelius in 
Csesarea (Acts 10 : 1 f.). These women were open to the influ 
ence of the rabbis and were able to reach the city officials. 
The combination of religious jealousy, social prestige and 
civil power was too great for Paul and Barnabas. Rackham 1 
notes that the word "honorable" is common in the inscrip 
tions at Antioch. The persecution here was effective, appar 
ently without any legal process. The civil authorities were 
reached by private influence without a public arraignment, 
but the pressure was too great to resist. Public trial would 
have come if Paul and Barnabas had remained. The rabbis 
would have found some charge for the arrest and trial of the 
preachers, who had become entirely too popular. Roman law 
did not forbid this recourse to personal spleen. Modern in 
quisitors have often followed suit as they gained the ear of the 
men at the helm of city and state. 

Lystra was another colony where Paul and Barnabas had 
trouble at the hands of the set of jealous Jews who had so 
successfully driven them out of Antioch and out of Iconium. 
"But there came Jews thither from Antioch and Iconium" 
(Acts 14:19). Paul and Barnabas had remained a "long 
time" (14: 3) in Iconium (not yet a colony, not till Hadrian s 
tune 2 ), till the Jews had stirred the Gentile multitude against 
them and there came an actual "onset 3 both of the Gentiles 
and the Jews with their rulers, to treat them shamefully and 
to stone them" (14: 5). Paul and Barnabas fled just in time 
to escape a lynching at the hands of a mob led by "the rulers" 
(archons) of the city. But in Lystra the Jews waited till Paul 
and Barnabas had become the heroes of the hour by reason 
of healing the crippled man. They had with difficulty dis 
suaded the populace in Lystra from offering sacrifice to them 
as Jupiter and Mercury (14 : 8-18). And now the fickle crowd, 
like a pack of wolves, led by the same jealous rabbis, turned 
on Paul and stoned him and dragged him out of the city, sup 
posing that he was dead (14:19). This time they thought 
that they had put the pestilent preacher out of their way for 
good and all. Their wrath had grown from Antioch to Ico 
nium and now to Lystra. Here it was a real lynching party 
and not a near one, as in Iconium. The city officials do not 

1 Acts, p. 222. 2 Ramsay, Galatians, pp. 123, 218. 

3 ip[A7j, a "rush" like a modern football team. 


here appear in the matter at all. There was no legal process. 
The Jews made their appeal directly to the mob and trusted 
to the connivance of the city authorities whom they had 
reached by private appeal in Antioch and by public demon 
stration in Iconium. They were apparently safe in their judg 
ment. If one wonders how a lynching like this could have 
taken place in a Roman colony under Roman law, let him 
recall recent occurrences in the United States, not alone in the 
South, where race prejudice has long existed, but in Washing 
ton, in Chicago, in Omaha, in East St. Louis, in Springfield, 
Ohio, and in Springfield, Illinois, the home of Abraham Lin 
coln. The appeal to the mob is anarchy and Bolshevism. It 
is always possible, even in enlightened communities, but it 
never settles anything. It always inflames men s passions 
and whets the appetite for blood. Paul himself knew only 
too well what it was to arouse popular prejudice against the, 
followers of Christ. Now a small circle of the faithful, prob 
ably Timothy among them, gathered round his dead body, as 
they thought, when he rose up to their joy (14 : 20), but he 
did not tarry long in Lystra. He knew when to leave. 

At Corinth, another colony, Paul was arraigned by the 
jealous rabbis again after Crispus, a ruler of the synagogue, 
had gone over to Paul s side (18:8). The present ruler of 
the synagogue, Sosthenes, took advantage of the arrival of a 
new proconsul, Gallic, to bring Paul into court for violating 
Roman law: "This man persuades men to worship God con 
trary to law" (18 : 13). The Roman law was strict about the 
introduction of new religions, strict when the Romans cared 
to be. Judaism was a legalized religion (religio licita), hoary 
with age and allowed by Roman law, though the Romans, like 
all Gentiles, despised the Jews. Mithraism and Isisism were 
new religions and were winked at by Roman officials. Chris 
tianity had no legal standing before Roman law. Technically 
it was unlawful (religio illicita) save as it passed as a form or 
sect of Judaism. Paul, as we know, claimed that Christianity 
was the real Judaism of the prophets (Gal. 3; Romans 9-11): 
"After the Way which they call a sect, so serve I the God of 
our fathers" (Acts 24: 14). The Jews before Gallio mean for 
him to understand that Paul has violated Roman law, but 
their charges made it plain to him that Christianity which 
Paul preached was really a form of Judaism and so not illegal. 


They failed to make a case against Paul in Gallio s interpreta 
tion of Roman law. He ruled that the dispute was one be 
tween Jews on questions of Jewish theology, and hence not a 
case in Roman law at all. He would not allow Paul to speak, 
but threw the case out of court with the famous words: "If 
indeed it were a matter of wrong or of wicked villainy, O ye 
Jews, reason would that I should bear with you: but if they 
are questions about words and names and your own law, look 
to it yourselves; I am not minded to be a judge of these mat 
ters" (18:14f.). The decision was a boomerang. For the 
moment, and in the province of Achaia, Christianity was 
given a legal standing before Roman law as a religio licita and 
as a form of Judaism. The rage of the Jews was tremendous. 
They laid hold on their own leader, Sosthenes, and beat him 
right before the judgment-seat, but "Gallic cared for none of 
these things" (18:17). He had a blind eye for the poetic 
justice that came to the jealous Sosthenes. Gallio was a 
brother of Seneca and was apparently a man of intelligence 
and with a sense of justice, a Roman official of the higher type, 
quite other from the kind seen in Palestine in the cases of Pilate, 
Felix and Festus. There were Roman governors like Gallio. 
The administration of Roman law depended, after all, upon 
the character of the officer, as, in truth, is true of all law ev 

3. Law in the Free Cities. We have examples in the Acts of 
legal processes in such free cities as Athens, Ephesus and 

In Thessalonica there was probably a senate and an assem 
bly. Certainly they had politarchs, "rulers of the city" 
(Acts 17:6), as the inscriptions prove. In Thessalonica a 
great multitude of the devout Greeks or God-fearers, who had 
been attending the synagogue services, were converted by 
Paul s preaching as well as a large number of the chief women 
(17 : 4). Here Paul had a large body of aristocratic women on 
his side, in contrast with the situation in Antioch in Pisidia, 
where they were lined up against him. Here the jealous Jew 
ish leaders make their first appeal to the rabble, "certain vile 
fellows of the rabble" * (17 : 5), certain evil men of the crowd 

1 T&V dyopafav ocvSpaq -rtvtig xovrjpo6<;. Lake (Earlier Epistles of Paul, p. 
69, n. 1) takes dtfopatav here to be "agitators" because of Plutarch, JEmil- 
ius Paulus, 38, dtvOpwicou? <ysvvst<; xort SeSouXeuxdrat;, dc 


in the market-place. The life of a Greek city centred in the 
agora or market-place. Here the idlers were found very much 
as professional jurors hang around the court-house in our 
modern cities. Even some of the Thessalonian converts showed 
a reluctance to work (II Thess. 3 : 10). So the Jewish rabbis 
got the ear (probably for pay or by appeal to prejudice) of 
these "bums," who were ready for any enterprise or excite 
ment. They deliberately undertook to set the city in an up 
roar. It was a mob made to order that clamored at the 
door of Jason s house for Paul and Silas. So failing to find 
them, they dragged Jason before the politarchs and accused 
him of entertaining Paul and Silas, "these that have turned 
the world upside down." 1 Certainly this was a tribute to 
Paul and Silas, though, as a matter of fact, the rabbis and 
their confederates from the agora had set the city by the ears. 
Now the Jews appeal to Roman law, as the Sanhedrin posed 
as friends of Caesar when Pilate weakened once more (John 
19:12, 15): "And these all act contrary to the decrees of 
Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus" (Acts 
17:7). The Jews in Thessalonica, as the Jews before Pilate, 
knew that Paul did not preach Jesus as a political king or 
emperor 2 in opposition to Caesar, but they wished the politarchs 
to think so. The crime of which they accuse Jason and Paul 
and Silas is high treason, the very charge placed against Jesus 
(Luke 23 : 2). The charge of treason "cast into a panic both 
the politarchs and the crowd." 3 So Jason was compelled to 
give security 4 for good behavior against treason (17 : 9), pay 
ing money like a bond or bail. Thus the politarchs saved 
their face in the presence of this charge of a revolution. It is 
interesting to note that in writing to the Thessalonians Paul 
describes the "man of sin," "the son of perdition, he that 
opposeth and exalteth himself against all that is called God or 
that is worshipped; so that he sitteth in the temple of God, 
setting himself forth as God" (II Thess. 2 : 3 f.). "Remember 

1 ol T^V ofxoutxsvrjv dtvacjTaT&cjavTe*;. Used in the papyri for driving one out 
of hearth and home, B. G. U. 1179, 20 (A. D. 41). So of upsetting one, P. 
Oxy., 119, 10 (A. D.2-3). 

2 The word ^actXs6<; was applied to the Emperor. 

3 Rackham, in loco. 

4 Xa^vreq T*> bwtv6v. Cf . Mark 15 : 15. In P. Oxy., 294, 23 (A. D. 22), we 
have Bo[0v]at elxav6v for "give security" till the inquiry or trial, a case pre 
cisely in point. 


ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things ? " 
(2:5). Evidently, Paul, while in Thessalonica, had been 
stirred by the worship of the Roman Emperor and may have 
employed language that gave some color to the specious charge 
of his enemies. Here in Thessalonica Paul began to face the 
inevitable conflict between Christ and Caesar. The shadow 
of Rome was cast upon the Cross. So Paul and Silas were 
"immediately" sent away by the brethren to Beroea (Acts 
17 : 10). It was a serious moment for Paul. When in Bercea 
the same Jews came to attack Paul, "then immediately the 
brethren sent forth Paul to go as far as the sea" (17:14). 
The haste in both instances suggests that Paul s zeal and ear 
nestness against emperor-worship had made it inexpedient 
for him to tarry. 

In Athens Paul was not put on trial before the court of the 
Areopagus. No criminal charge was laid against him at all. 
After a round of public discussion with the Stoics and the 
Epicureans in the agora at Athens, with ridicule from some 
of the people (Acts 17 : 18), others more courteously proposed 
that Paul go up unto the Areopagus and in a more formal 
address expound his strange teaching (17:19f.). In Athens 
there was always a crowd ready to hear some new thing. Paul 
was in an embarrassing situation. Like Socrates of old, he 
had crossed swords with the sophists of the new time. But 
the crowd passed quick judgment on Paul as a mere babbler 
or seed-picker 1 (17 : 18), like the birds that hopped about in 
the market-place. They little knew that a greater than Soc 
rates was here, one with an infinitely greater philosophy, the 
wisdom of God. Socrates was tried and condemned for intro 
ducing strange divinities. The same charge is made against 
Paul. Three views exist as to what took place on the Areopa 
gus. One is that Paul made a popular philosophical exposi 
tion of Christianity to the crowd that invited him up there. 
The conduct of the hearers lends some color to this view 
(17 : 32-34). Another view is that a real trial before the 
court of the Areopagus took place. Rackham argues ably 
that Paul was arraigned before the court for introducing new 
divinities as Socrates had been. He suggests that the exami 
nation took place before the court of the Areopagus, but in the 
Stoa Basilica, and that Paul took advantage of the occasion to 


proclaim the gospel. There was one Areopagite (Dionysius) 
present who was converted. But this view is not convincing. 
Ramsay 1 is positive that Paul was brought before the council 
of Areopagus, but not for trial. He thinks that the Stoics 
wanted him examined by the council to see if he was entitled 
to a permit to lecture in the university atmosphere. "Cer 
tain powers were vested in the council of Areopagus to appoint 
or invite lecturers at Athens, and to exercise some general 
control over the lecturers in the interest of public order and 
morality." 2 It is not certain that the hill of Mars is meant 
by the Areopagus, which can mean simply the court of Are 
opagus, whether held on Mars Hill or in the agora. In any 
case it hardly seems likely that it was a court trial for a crime, 
but a University court in which Paul made his defense as a 
teacher. Ramsay 3 shows that the Areopagus is not always 
topographical. Certainly, this is a plausible view, and on the 
whole the most likely to be true. At any rate, in Athens 
Paul is in a Greek atmosphere of freedom, and does not feel 
the hand of Roman law or the jealousy of Jewish rabbis or the 
hatred of business interests. The intellectuals of Athens soon 
lose interest in the wild theories of the new and raw philoso 
pher. They laugh him out of court and out of town. 

But in Ephesus we see all the forms and processes of Grseco- 
Roman law (proconsul, 4 town clerk, 5 assembly, 6 courts 7 ). 
Ephesus had thus a Greek constitution besides the Roman 
proconsul. The popular assembly met every three months 
and oftener on occasion. The town-clerk was an important 
official. The proconsul represented the supreme authority of 
Rome. The Asiarchs (19 : 31), who were friendly to Paul and 
would not allow him to face the mob in the amphitheatre, were 
provincial officers who had charge, among other things, of the 
provincial worship of the Emperor. "A temple and altar to 
Rome and the emperor were erected in some city, which there 
upon was designated Neocoros 8 or Sacristar (literally, temple- 
sweeper), i. e., of the imperial temple." 9 Thessalonica and 
Beroea were also "temple-sweepers." Ephesus was exeeed- 

St. Paul the Traveller, p. 246. 

2 Ibid. ft^ pp. 244 f. 

4 dtvOuxato? (19 : 38). 5 YPwwrce6<; (19 : 35). 

STJIXO? (19: 33), IxxXrjofa (19 : 39). 7 dyopalot (19 : 38). 

8 vewx6po? (19 : 35). 9 Rackham, Acts, p. 363. 


ingly proud of this honor as well as of the title of "temple- 
sweeper" for the temple of Diana. Inscriptions show that 
the name "temple-sweeper" was also used in reference to the 
worship of Diana (Artemis), so that Luke is vindicated on this 
point. "Great Artemis" was the usual title given this god 
dess. Inscriptions call her "Great Artemis" and "Most Great 
Goddess" (cf. "Most High God" in Acts 16:17, also in in 
scriptions). One of the decrees at Ephesus speaks of the 
decline of the worship of Artemis as Luke does. "Mr. Wood s 
excavations of this temple and the numerous inscriptions there 
discovered have given a revelation of this worship which 
entirely corroborates the lifelike picture in the Acts." 1 It is 
probable that the Asiarchs induced the town clerk to dismiss 
the mob. We see here Grseco-Roman law invoked in defense 
of Paul, as Gallio took his side in Corinth. In Antioch in 
Pisidia the Jewish rabbis got the city officials to act on their 
side against Paul. In Ephesus Paul had lived three years, 
and so had won the friendship of the Asiarchs who befriended 
him. Perhaps, also, Paul in Ephesus was more careful about 
references to the emperor-worship than he had been in Thessa- 
lonica. He seems here to have directed his energy more against 
the worship of Diana than against the emperor-worship. At 
any rate the Asiarchs were not charged with the worship of 
Diana. The town clerk skilfully parried the charge of Deme 
trius about Diana s proud magnificence and showed that Paul 
and his friends were not temple-robbers 2 or blasphemers of the 
goddess Diana (19:37). Demetrius had followed the line of 
the masters in Philippi and had gone a step farther. He had 
aroused the self-interest of the craftsmen (guild or labor-unions, 
common enough at that time) by appeals to the peril to the 
trade and so to their jobs (19 : 24-27). Capitalist and workmen 
here unite against Paul. In public, however, the cry of peril 
to Diana was raised (19 : 26 f.), and nothing was said about 
the business interests hit by Paul s preaching. We see here a 
close parallel to the modern struggle with the liquor trade. 
The hatred of vested business interests was turned against 
Paul and only the quick action of his powerful friends in office 
saved him and his friends Gaius and Aristarchus. They would 
have gotten Paul in time had he remained in Ephesus. So he 
quickly left (Acts 20:1). 
1 Rackham, Acts, p. 364, 2 lspoa6Xou<;. 


4. The Sanhedrin and Jewish Law. We have seen how Luke 
pictures Paul in touch with Greek and Roman law. It remains 
to see how he fares with Jewish law. Paul was certainly at 
home before the Sanhedrin, whose agent he had been in the 
persecution of Christianity (Acts 8 : 3; 9 : 1 f.; 22 : 4 f.^; 26 : 10 f.) 
and of which he was possibly a member (26 : 10). The powers 
of the Sanhedrin had been greatly limited since the days of 
Herod the Great. Rome reserved the right of capital punish 
ment (John 18 : 31) and the Sanhedrin had no jurisdiction in 
Galilee and Samaria, 1 yet local synagogues were allowed to 
have a good deal of authority. 2 The stoning of Stephen 
(Acts 7 : 58) was lynch-law, an illegal murder. Stoning was 
the old Jewish penalty for blasphemy, but the Sanhedrin no 
longer had that right. Stephen so enraged this body that 
they took the law into their own hands, and the Roman proc 
urator seems to have let it pass, if indeed he was in office at 
this juncture. The persecution of other Christians by the 
Sanhedrin (Acts 5:33; 22:4; 26:10) was either ^ ignored or 
winked at by the Roman officials as a matter of slight impor 
tance from the standpoint of Roman law and order. The 
Sanhedrin could arrest persons and imprison them and flog 
them (Acts 5 : 18, 40; 22 : 4; 26 : 10; II Cor. 11 : 24 f.). The 
death of James in Acts 12 : 2 was by order of Herod Agrippa I 
while he was King of Judea. And Peter would have fared the 
same fate but for the interposition of God and Peter s flight 
(12 : 3-17). 

Stephen stirred up the Pharisees (6 : 11-14) as Peter had 
aroused the Sadducees (4 : 1 f.; 5 : 17 f.). Paul carried on the 
persecution of the disciples as a Pharisee, and Gamaliel, his 
great teacher, no more interposed to stay his hand as he had 
done once in behalf of the Apostles, to score a point against 
the Sadducees (5 : 33-42). Paul, on his last visit to Jerusalem, 
met the hatred of the Jewish mob as he had faced mobs of 
Jews or Gentiles in Antioch in Pisidia, Iconium, Bercea, Cor 
inth, Ephesus. The rage of the Jerusalem mob is due to 
charges made by Jews of Asia, probably old enemies in Ephe 
sus, who were angered by Paul s association with Trophimus, 
a Greek Christian of Ephesus, in Jerusalem (21 : 27-31). The 
mob mind is very much alike anywhere. The crowd-conscious 
ness of these Jews is outside of the pale of law. It is the same 

1 Maclean, Hastings s Diet, of Ap. Ch. 

2 Biggs, St. Peter and Jude, p. 25. 


thirst for blood that Paul had once felt as a persecutor. It is 
the Roman chief-captain who rescues Paul by the aid of sol 
diers from death by the mob (21 : 33-36). The position of 
Paul is now peculiar. He appears to Claudius Lysias as a 
criminal of some sort. He first suspects him of being the 
famous Egyptian leader of the band of "assassins" (21:38) 
and is astonished that Paul speaks Greek. On learning that 
Paul is a Jew of Tarsus he allows him to speak to the mob from 
the steps of the tower of Antonia, which he does in Aramaic, 
so that the chief-captain did not understand his address, but 
saw only the wild confusion at the end (21 : 39-22 : 23). He 
tried to ferret out the guilt of Paul by scourging only to find 
that he was dealing with a Roman citizen and was in peril of 
a crime himself (22 : 24-29) : "The chief-captain also was afraid 
when he knew that he was a Roman, and that he had bound 

In his perplexity Claudius Lysias called a meeting of the 
Sanhedrin 1 in order to see if that body could define Paul s guilt 
to guide his course (22:30). Paul was at home before this 
body of the fathers, but at once lost all chance of a fair inquiry 
by the claim that he had lived in all good conscience up till 
now, including his conversion to Christ. The upshot was the 
claim by Paul that he was still a Pharisee on the subject of the 
resurrection and this claim was followed by the violent cleav 
age of the body who were about to tear Paul in pieces in the 
effort to get at each other. Once more Claudius Lysias res 
cued Paul from the Jewish court and he was still in the dark 
about his prisoner (23 : 1-10). 

The conspiracy against Paul and the wit of Paul s nephew 
led the chief-captain to send Paul away from Jerusalem by 
night under guard of a company of soldiers in order to get him 
away from the forces of Jewish hate in Jerusalem. His letter 
puts the best face on the matter for Claudius Lysias, and is 
not in accord with the facts (23 : 26-30). So Paul has escaped 
the toils set for him in Jerusalem, but he is still a prisoner in 
Csesarea in Herod s palace. 2 

1 Ramsay (" Trial Scenes in the Acts," Bearing of Recent Discovery, p. 90) 
is sure that this was not a formal meeting of the Sanhedrin, but was a 
hurried called meeting. 

2 Or praetorium (xpatTwptov) . On the meaning of this word and other 
legal and technical terms, see Ferguson, "The Legal Terms Common to 
the Macedonian Inscriptions and the New Testament" (Historical and 
Linguistic Studies of University of Chicago, vol. II). 


5. Roman Law in Palestine. Paul has escaped the jaws of 
death from the mob, the Sanhedrin and the conspirators in 
Jerusalem. He now stands at the bar of the Roman proc 
urator in Csesarea. Once before Paul had faced the Roman 
governor, the proconsul Gallio, in Corinth. Then, as now, it 
was the Jews who made accusations against him. Then he 
was set free, with the result that Christianity was given a legal 
standing in Achaia as a religio licita, a form of Judaism. That 
was in a heathen city, where the Jews were disliked as they 
were everywhere. "Beware of the Jews" 1 Serapim wrote to 
Heraclides, who was in money difficulties A. D. 41. In Pales 
tine, at least, Christianity is no longer regarded as a form of 
Judaism by the Jews. Peter and John once worshipped in 
the temple. Slowly the lines have been drawn. Paul s great 
Gentile propaganda has stirred many of the Jewish Christians, 
the Judaizers, against him. But the Roman government has 
not yet assumed a hostile attitude toward Christianity. The 
case of Paul really carries with it the future of Christianity in 
the Roman Empire. It is for this reason that Luke devotes 
so much space to the details of his imprisonment and trials in 
Csesarea. Paul stands at the bar of Roman provincial jus 
tice, but he is in Palestine, where the Roman governor feels 
the full force of Jewish hate and Jewish power, as Pilate did 
when he surrendered to the demand of the Sanhedrin. Luke 
told that story with great power in the Gospel. What will 
Felix now do with the case of Paul? Will he surrender him 
to the Sanhedrin as Pilate did Jesus ? 

Felix makes a fair start. He would wait for the accusers to 
come (23:35). Ananias, the high priest, appeared with five 
elders and a Roman lawyer or pleader (orator), Tertullus, who 
argued the case against Paul after the accusations of Ananias 
(24:1-9). It is a characteristic demagogical harangue with 
flattery of Felix and denunciation of Paul. Paul pleads his 
own case (24:10-21). He shows the falsity of the charge 
about profaning the temple, the vagueness of that about caus 
ing disturbances and admits that he is a member of the sect 
of the Nazarenes, which he claims is in accord with the Jewish 
hope. Luke adds a curious comment about Felix "having 
more exact knowledge concerning the Way" (24:22). More 
exact than what? The Way is Christianity. Felix is acute 

1 B. G. U., 1079, 24 f., xcrt oft pXSice oatbv dcicb TG>V 


enough to see that in reality Christianity is on trial for its legal 
status in Palestine. He probably knew of the decision of 
Gallio. At any rate, he knew enough to be unwilling to con 
vict Paul and yet he feared the Jews too much to set him free. 
So he put off the case, possibly influenced, also, by the men 
tion of "alms" by Paul, as holding out hope of a bribe. At 
any rate, that came to be a definite motive 1 with him (24 : 26) 
after he recovered from the shock of Paul s powerful sermon 
to him and to Drusilla (24 : 24 f.). But Felix dallied with the 
case for two years, and left Paul a prisoner, when recalled, to 
please the Jews (24 : 27). Felix makes a sorry spectacle of 
Roman justice, but Luke s picture is in keeping with what is 
known of him elsewhere. 

The coming of Festus revived the hopes of the Jews, who at 
once (cf. coming of Gallio to Corinth) undertook to induce 
Festus to bring Paul from Csesarea, plotting again to kill him 
on the way (25 : 1-5). But Festus was not so easily caught 
and he also began well. He demanded that the accusers come 
to Csesarea, where he held court. So they came again with 
the same old charges, which Paul promptly denied. Now 
Festus asked Paul if he were not willing to go up to Jerusalem 
and be tried there before him (25 : 9) indeed, but probably 
according to Jewish law. The procurators sometimes applied 
Jewish law in such cases. It was a trap set for Paul for the 
purpose of pleasing the Jews. Paul s patience was at last 
exhausted. He knew what Jerusalem held in store for him. 
He now knew that Festus was no better than Felix, and that 
he lacked the courage to stand up against the Jews. He had 
waited two years on Felix. There was but one hope left, and 
that lay in the right of appeal to Caesar, which he could make 
as a Roman citizen. This he did and at once took the case 
out of the hands of Festus (25: 10-12). Luke has told this 
story with great detail and vividness. He was probably pres 
ent during these arraignments of Paul, though he may not 
have remained in Csesarea all of the two years. Ramsay 2 
thinks that Luke regarded Paul s trials in Csesarea and the 
appeal to Caesar as a test case for Christianity. Hence he felt 

1 Ramsay (St. Paul the Traveller, p. 310) thinks that Paul came into his 
patrimony about this time and was thus able to bear the expense of his 
long lawsuit. 

2 St. Paul the Traveller, p. 308. 


justified in devoting so much space to it. He evidently com 
pleted Acts when it was clear that Paul would be acquitted, 
and hence a new day would dawn for Christianity in the 
Roman Empire. Incidentally, this is an argument for dating 
Acts before A. D. 64, when all of a sudden Nero turned against 
Christianity. There is no hint of this outcome in the Acts. 
"The importance of the trial for Luke is intelligible only if 
Paul was acquitted," 1 and, one may add, Luke wrote in igno 
rance of the reversal of Roman policy by Nero in A. D. 64. 
Felix and Festus show the Roman governors at their worst. 

The so-called trial of Paul before Herod Agrippa II was no 
trial at all. The case was no longer in the hands of Festus. 
It was really a sort of mock trial or entertainment arranged 
by Festus to relieve the ennui of Agrippa and Bernice on their 
visit to Festus, as Luke makes plain (25 : 13-27). It is evident 
that Paul need not have spoken unless he cared to do so. No 
charges were placed against Paul. Agrippa, as a fellow Jew, 
was more likely to understand Paul and so he took advantage 
of this opportunity to state his case and make an apology for 
his whole life (26 : 1-23). The plea of Festus that he had no 
charge against Paul to send to Caesar was doubtless true, nor 
did he secure one on this occasion (26:24-32). Ramsay 2 
notes how true Luke is to the facts in each case: "Legal pro 
ceedings are taken against Paul and his friends in many places, 
and accusations have to be made in each case, according to 
the forms of Roman law. The accusation varies in each case; 
it is nowhere the same as in any other city; yet it is everywhere 
in accordance with Roman forms." Ramsay lucidly shows 
how the accusers had to find some crime in Paul s conduct at 
Philippi, Thessalonica, Athens, Corinth, Ephesus, Jerusalem 
and Csesarea, and how skilful they were in relating their 
grudges to the Roman legal forms, as we have already shown. 

The Acts closes with Paul still a prisoner in Rome, but with 
a hope of release implied, as in Paul s Epistles to Philippians 
and Philemon. But at the close of Acts the future attitude 
of Rome to Christianity is problematical. It seems probable 
that Paul was set free by Nero without a trial, the case going 
by default. But the burning of Rome by Nero in A. D. 64 
quickly 3 changed the whole atmosphere. He laid that crime 

1 Ibid. 2 Bearing of Recent Discovery, p. 97. 

3 Probably by A. D. 65. 


at the door of the Christians and began to treat them as crim 
inals. There are echoes of this attitude in I Peter 4 : 16. 

The Romans learned to distinguish between Christians and 
Jews. The Jews drew the line against Christians. The 
author of Hebrews (13 : 13) will urge the Christians to follow 
Christ without the camp. The Christians had already had to 
choose between Lord Caesar and Lord Jesus (cf. I Cor. 12 : 1-3). 
When Trajan writes to Pliny it is unlawful to be a Christian 
and the natural implication is that it had long been a crime to 
be a Christian. Paul saw the fight coming between Christ 
and Caesar for world conquest. Luke has drawn in Acts the 
picture of the events that led up 1 to that conflict which lasted 
for centuries, which in essence still rages. The Christian still 
has to face the problem of loyalty to Christ or to Caesar when 
Caesar tramples the cross beneath his feet. But at first 
Roman law did not seriously interfere with the spread of 
Christianity. Judaism was tolerated and Christianity was 
treated as a sect of Judaism. "This tolerance of the Jewish 
religion was of incalculable importance to infant Christianity, 
which at first professed to be no more than a reformed and 
expanded Judaism. * 2 When the distinction was finally drawn 
by Roman law, Christianity was too powerful to be suppressed. 
It was able to fight the mightiest empire of earth. 

1 Harnack, Acts of the Apostles, p. 288. Luke "reflects very early con 
ceptions and expresses historical relations which existed at the time of 
St. Paul." 

2 Angus, Int. St. B. Encycl. ("Roman Empire"). 



"And casting off the anchors, they left them in the sea, at the same 
time loosing the bands of the rudders; and hoisting the foresail to 
the wind, they made for the beach" (Acts 27 : 40). 

Few chapters in any book have a fascination surpassing that 
in Acts 27. Here we see Luke the sailor, the man of travel, 
the man of observation. The habits of diagnosis as a doctor 
played him in good stead in seeing the points of interest in the 
voyage and shipwreck. He had quick eyes that saw the sa 
lient points at issue. He may have made notes during the 
storm, or he may have written out his vivid recollections after 
reaching Rome. He had doubtless made many voyages before 
and knew the ways of the sea. 

1. The Immense Value of Acts 27. Luke makes it plain that 
Paul made frequent voyages to carry on his work. He sailed 
from Seleucia to Cyprus (Acts 13 : 4), from Troas to Neapolis 
(16: 11), possibly from Beroea to Athens (17: 14), from Cen- 
chrese to Ephesus (18 : 18), from Ephesus to Caesarea (18 : 21 f.), 
to Macedonia again (20 : 1), from Philippi to Troas (20 : 6), 
from Assos with various stops to Csesarea (20:13-21:14). 
But it is plain that Luke has not recorded, even in this sum 
mary fashion, all the voyages of Paul, for he himself says: 
"Thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day have I been 
in the deep" (II Cor. 11 :25), and he also spoke of "perils in 
the sea" (II Cor. 11:26). These experiences were several 
years before the famous voyage narrated at length and with 
such power in Acts 27. 

But it is Acts 27 that really shows Luke and Paul at their 
best in the sea. "The story is told with such a wealth of 
detail that in all classical literature there is no passage which 
gives us so much information about the working of an ancient 
ship." 2 We have other narratives of ancient voyages in mer 
chant vessels. Josephus 3 tells that the ship on which he was 

lf The Record of Christian Work, August, 1920. 
2 Rackham, p. 476. Vita, III. 



wrecked carried about six hundred persons. Lucian 1 pictures 
the voyage of an Alexandrian wheat-ship on its course from 
Alexandria to Myra and to Athens. The ship had a tonnage 
of twelve hundred tons. Herod the Great had a shipwreck 
also on his way to Rome from Alexandria. In stormy weather 
he took ship to Pamphylia and was shipwrecked at Rhodes, 
with loss of the ship s cargo. There he built a three-decked 
ship and set sail with his friends for Brundisium in Italy and 
so reached Rome. 2 In the Periodoi of Barnabas we have the 
description of "a voyage from Seleucia in Syria to Cyprus in 
the face of a prevailing steady westerly wind the work of a 
person familiar with the circumstances." 3 But these narra 
tives all fall short of the one by Luke in Acts 27. "It is to 
Luke that we owe the most vivid as well as the most accurate 
account of sea-voyaging that has come down to us from an 
tiquity. Experts in naval science agree that it is without a 
parallel." 4 There is no trouble in believing that the second 
vessel in Acts 27 carried two hundred and seventy-six souls 
(27 : 37), or that the third vessel, the Castor and Pollux, carried 
these besides its crew and cargo (28 : 11). 

The Phoenicians and the Greeks were the sailors of antiquity. 
They were those "who go down to the sea in ships and occupy 
themselves in great waters." The Book of Revelation 
(chap. 18) speaks of Rome as the city whose ships cover the 
Mediterranean, whose merchants trade with all the earth. 
That is true, for Rome drew the commerce of the world to her 
doors. The mariners of all nations, "who work the sea" 5 
(Rev. 18: 17) set sail for Rome. "Woe, Woe, the great city, 
wherein all that had their ships in the sea were made rich by 
reason of her costliness" (Rev. 18 : 19). The ancients dreaded 
the sea, for they were without chart or compass and at the 
mercy of wind and wave with their rowboats and sailing-ves 
sels. One of the joys of heaven will be that "the sea is no 
more" (Rev. 21 : 1). "The modern joy and delight in the sea 
was a sentiment almost unknown to the peoples of antiquity. 
One Greek poet, JEschylus, could write of the many-twinkling 

1 The Ship or Wishes (IlXotov % Eu^O- 

2 Josephus, Ant. XIV, xiv. 

3 Ramsay, St. Paul the Traveller, p. 317. 

4 Robinson, Hastings s Diet, of Ap. Ch. ("Ship"). 
6 oaot rf)v 66Xaaaav 


smile of ocean/ but to the ancients generally the sea inspired 
only emotions of dislike and dread. The incommodious ships 
and the possibilities of long delays owing to contrary winds 
made the voyage anything but a pleasure." 1 There was lack 
of knowledge of navigation, and winter closed down the seas 
on the Mediterranean. Neptune had terrors for the ancients 
that appear in the allusions in classical literature, terrors 
enough, one may add, without the modern agent of the devil, 
the submarine. And yet some of the Greeks loved the sea. 
Ramsay 2 says that Luke "shows the true Greek feeling for 
the sea." It is interesting to observe that Nelson had been 
reading Acts 27 on the morning of the battle of Copenhagen. 

2. The Same Note of Accuracy in Acts 27. We have come 
to have confidence in Luke the historian as we have tested him 
in so many ways. It was to be expected that Acts 27 would 
be subjected to the most minute research. Luke uses a great 
deal of technical detail from the nature of the case. Every 
statement here has been challenged by experts in naval mat 
ters. The literature is now considerable. 3 Far the most val 
uable is the work of Smith, of Jordanhill, The Voyage and Ship 
wreck of St. Paul. He made a minute study of every aspect 
of the voyage. There is a discussion of each of the three ships 
(Csesarea to Myra, Myra to Malta, Malta to Puteoli) in which 
Paul and Luke sailed, the size of the ships, the winds, the ton 
nage, the number of passengers, the direction and speed of the 
second ship in the storm, the island of Malta and every point 
that is involved. It is all done with great thoroughness and 
fairness, with the use of all knowledge that can be obtained 
about ancient ships and seafaring. 

Smith 4 says that Luke possesses two great qualifications for 
writing this chapter. " The first of these is his perfect acquain 
tance with nautical matters, and the second is his accuracy. 
No man who was not in an eminent degree gifted with this 
quality could have given a narrative capable of being tested as 

1 Rackham, Acts, p. 475. 2 St. Paul the Traveller, p. 21. 

3 J. Smith, The Voyage and Shipwreck of St. Paul, 4th ed., 1880; A. Breus- 
ing, Die Nautik der Alien, 1886; J. Vars, L Art nautique dans Vantiquite et 
specialement en grec, 1887; H. Balmer, Die Romfahrt des Apostels Paulus, 
1905; C. Torr, Ancient Ships, 1894; Everitt, St. Paul s Journey to Rome, 
1904; cyclopaedic article; E. Smith, "Last Voyage and Shipwreck of St. 
Paul" (Homiktic Review, August, 1919). 

4 Op. cit., pp. 25 f . 


his has been in the following examination. He must not only 
have been an accurate observer, but his memory must have 
been accurate, and his habits of thought and reasoning no less 
so." This judgment Smith renders after thorough and pains 
taking examination of every detail. "St. Luke, by his accu 
rate use of nautical terms, gives great precision to his language, 
and expresses by a single word what would otherwise require 
several." 1 As one illustration of his accuracy take the dis 
tance and direction from Clauda to Malta. Luke has only a 
few disjointed allusions to these matters in his narrative, and 
yet they work out like a modern log-book the dead reckoning 
of the ship s course and speed. The distance was four hun 
dred and seventy-six miles, and this would take a little over 
thirteen days (on the fourteenth day, 27 : 27), at the rate of 
drifting of one and one-half miles an hour. The direction, as 
the result of the Euraquilo or east-northeast wind (27 : 14) and 
tacking eight points to the north (as close to the wind as was 
safe), would bring one to the island of Malta. 2 "Hence, ac 
cording to these calculations, a ship starting late on the eve 
ning from Clauda would by midnight on the fourteenth be less 
than three miles from the entrance of St. Paul s Bay." 3 

And this is not all. The measurements by fathoms, twenty 
and fifteen (27 : 28), corresponds to the coast there. And there 
is a bay with a place where two seas meet (27 : 41), and to this 
day it is called St. Paul s Bay. 4 Surely, then, Luke is entitled 
to consideration in the details to be examined. 

3. The Personality of Paul Dominant in the Narrative. Fas 
cinating as the story is, Luke did not write his narrative just 
to depict a shipwreck. He is not consciously writing a "pur 
ple" passage. He describes the voyage at all only because of 
his interest in Paul. "The very desperateness of the situation 
throws into the strongest relief the personality of S. Paul. 
At the moment of utter despair he rises up in the midst and is 
found a rock on which all can trust, the inspirer of hope and 
the master-mind which is able to direct and command as the 
crisis requires in a word, their saviour. Nowhere in the Acts 
is there a finer display of sympathy and strength. Thus the 
very passages which glorify the apostle and for that reason 
suspected by some critics are those which contain S. Luke s 

1 Ibid., p. 61, note. 2 Smith, op. cit., pp. 122-6. 

3 7WdL, p. 126. < Ibid., p. 172. 


motive for relating the history of the voyage, and the multitude 
of details supply the necessary background." 1 

It is true that Paul is a prisoner, but he is treated with the 
utmost consideration 2 by Julius the centurion, who has charge 
of all the prisoners and the soldiers 3 and is the ranking Roman 
officer on each of the ships, outranking the captain, who with 
us would be in complete control of the vessel. Ramsay 4 argues 
plausibly that Luke and Aristarchus were able to accompany 
Paul by offering themselves as his slaves for the voyage. Pris 
oners would not be allowed to have mere friends. In Luke s 
narrative "Paul admonished them" (27 : 9 f.) at Fair Havens, 
where the centurion 5 called a council to determine what to do 
now that it was so late in the season, for "the Fast was already 
gone by" (27:9), the Great Day of Atonement, about Octo 
ber 5 in A. D. 59, and it was now necessary either to spend 
the winter in Fair Havens or to find a better harbor like Phoenix 
near by in Crete (27:12). Luke does not mention that it 
was a formal council, but Ramsay 6 feels sure that one was 
held else Paul would not have dared to offer his advice. Prob 
ably Paul, though not Luke, was invited to the council because 
of his prominence. Those next to the centurion in rank were 
"the pilot 7 and captain 8 of the ship" (27: 11), and not "the 
master and owner of the ship," as even the Revised Version 
has it. The captain and sailing-master (pilot) were merely 
advisers of the centurion in this council. Paul gave his advice 
with his warning and prophecy along the line of common sense 
and experience, but he was brushed aside as not a technical 
expert. Preachers are not credited with business sense, but 
he laughs best who laughs last. The centurion found the soft 
south wind proof of his wisdom and set sail (27: 13). The 
sequel justifies Paul up to the hilt, though he remained quiet 
till neither sun nor stars had shone upon the ship for many 
days, and all hope of being saved was now taken away and 

1 Rackham, Acts, 476. 2 <JxXav6pa>>? (Acts 27 : 3). 

3 axeipa ZspaaTTj (27 : 1), "the troop of the Emperor," Ramsay calls it 
(St. Paul the Traveller, p. 315), in popular Greek language. 

4 St. Paul the Traveller, p. 316. | 5 IxaTovdcpxT]?. 

6 Op. ciL, p. 323. 7 xupepv^tTjs, our "governor." 

8 va6x)oqpo<;. Ramsay, op. tit. (p. 324), shows by inscriptions that 
e[xxopoq is the name for "owner" of the ship and va&xXTjpoq "captain." 
Knowling, in loco, agrees with Ramsay, though Breusing argues for 
"owner "for va6xXijpo<;. 


they had been long without food (27 : 20). Then he was able 
to say with telling effect: "I told you so." But he did it 
courteously and aimed to help the despairing company. He 
urged courage and confidence in God, who will spare their 
lives, though the ship will be lost, as an angel of God has 
shown him. Paul himself is to stand before Csesar, and God 
has spared them in answer to his prayers (27 : 21-26). It is a 
crowning moment for Paul. From henceforth he is the real 
master of the company. All now look to Paul for light and 

Once again Paul stepped to the front to expose the dastardly 
plot of the sailors to escape in the life-boat and to leave the 
ship and all on board to the mercy of the storm (27 : 30-32). 
Now the centurion was quick to hearken to Paul and he had 
the soldiers "cut away the ropes of the boat, and let her fall 

Once more as they waited for dawn on the f ourteentlu day 
Paul urged that they break their long fast and eat something, 
appetite or no appetite, so as to have strength for the work 
of rescue, promising that God would spare all their lives 
(27:33-36). Thus he restored the courage of all. "Then 
were they all of good cheer, and themselves also took of food." 

Paul was never more Luke s hero than on these great occa 
sions. Rackham 1 thinks that Luke also meant to draw a 
spiritual lesson in the obvious parallel between the experience 
of Paul to that of Jonah in the Old Testament, with the differ 
ence that the New Testament prophet of the Gentiles, unlike 
Jonah, was obedient to the heavenly vision, and did not bring 
on the storm, but, rather, was the reason for the rescue of all 
on board. The glory of the occasion was that Paul so led the 
crew and passengers to trust God and to be courageous that 
"they all escaped to the land" (27:44). One may think as 
he will about the parallel to Jonah, but there is no dispute*as 
to the dignity of Paul s bearing throughout the whole voyage. 
His conduct on the island of Malta was of a piece with that 
on board the ship. Paul won power with the barbarians as 
he had gained power on the ship (28 : 1-10). 

4. The Language of a Cultivated Landsman. The autoptic 
character of Luke s narrative is obvious to all. And yet, in 
the main, he "regularly uses the terms of educated conversa- 

* Ads, p. 477, 


tion, not the strict technical names. " l Lieutenant Edwin 
Smith notes that "St. Luke fails to make any reference to the 
condition of the ship (on the arrival at Fair Havens), an omis 
sion which a real sailor would not have made." 2 Lieutenant 
Smith, of Toronto, was in command of a patrol ship that 
patrolled from Dunkirk to Zeebrugge and assisted in putting 
up a smoke-screen for the monitors during the bombardment 
of Zeebrugge. From November, 1918, to March, 1919, he 
was in the Mediterranean service. He spent some time with 
his ship in Valetta harbor in the island of Malta, "within ten 
miles of the very spot where this, the most famous shipwreck 
in the world s history, took place." 3 Hence his interest in 
Luke s narrative. 

Smith, of Jordanhill, 4 says that "although his descriptions 
are accurate, they are, as I have already observed, unprofes 
sional." Smith explains what he means by "unprofessional": 
"The seaman in charge of the ship has his attention perpetu 
ally on the stretch, watching every change or indication of a 
change of wind or weather. He is obliged to decide on the 
instant what measures must be taken to avail himself of favor 
able changes or to obviate the consequences of unfavorable 
ones. Hence in describing them he naturally dwells upon 
cause and effect. He tells us not only what he has done, but 
why it was done." We do not see this seaman s interest in the 
technical matters. The landsman notes what the seaman 
would take for granted and omits scientific details for which 
he would care most. "Now these are exactly the peculiarities 
which characterize the style of St. Luke as a voyage-writer." 5 
This judgment can be shown to be correct by ample illustra 

Luke speaks of loosing the bands of the rudders (27:40), 
but does not tell how it was fastened. He speaks of hoisting 
the boat on board (27:16) with difficulty, but does not say 
what the difficulty was. He gives picturesque details that 
interest the general reader like the frequent allusions to the 
wind, "because the winds were contrary" (27:4), "the wind 
not farther suffering us" (27:7), evidently the northwest wind, 
though he does not say so. He mentions the south wind 

1 Ramsay, St. Paul the Traveller, p. 315. 

2 Homiletic Review, August, 1919, p. 104. 

8 Op. cit., p. 102. Op. cit., p. 21. B Op. tit., p. 21. 


(27 : 13) and the sudden Euraquilo or E. N. E. wind that "beat 
down from it (Crete) and caught the ship" (27 : 14 f.). Ram 
say 1 quotes a ship-captain who told him his experience in the 
Cretan waters: "The wind comes down from those mountains 
fit to blow the ship out of the water." The mountains tower 
seven thousand feet high and the sudden squall is typhonic 2 
in violence. The ship "could not face the wind" (27:15), 
"look the wind in the eye," 3 as Luke picturesquely puts it. 
The effect of the wind on the waves appears often, as in 
27:27, 41. This E. N. E. wind evidently blew steadily for 
fourteen days on the second ship as the northwest wind had 
blown on the first ship and the second to Fair Havens. There 
is some doubt as to what Luke means in 27 : 12 about the har 
bor at Phoenix, "facing northeast and southeast," or "looking 
down the southwest wind and down the northwest wind." 4 
The harbor faces east, not west. The language is that of sailors 
on inbound vessels, as they sailed into the harbor. The men 
tion of Syrtis, the quicksands, the rapid measures taken for 
safety and the drifting before the wind (27 : 15-17) shows that 
Luke is thinking of the main features of the events. 

The use of the term the Sea of Adria (27 : 27) is also popular. 
The technical use of the name was for the present Adriatic 
Sea, but ancient writers sometimes applied it, as Luke does, 
to the lower and wider expanse from Malta to Greece. The 
fear and treachery of the sailors is a human touch, as is the 
lightening of the ship of the cargo. It is not clear what Luke 
meant by "driven to and fro in the Sea of Adria" (27:27), 
probably the tossing of the waves by the wind as the ship 
neared land. The beaching of the ship where two seas met 6 
(27 : 41) probably refers to currents meeting between Falmouth 
Island and Malta, where "the two seas continue to meet until 
this day." 6 But the main points of the story stand out in 
sharp relief and the four stages of the voyage in three ships 
(Csesarea to Myra, Myra to Fair Havens, Fair Havens to 
Malta, Malta to Puteoli). 

5. Technical Terms in the Narrative. Luke was not a sailor, 

1 St. Paul the Traveller, p. 327. * Tu<J>Gwx6<; (27 : 14). 

3 dvTo4>0aXnecv rep <*v(p (27 : 15). 

4 ^Xlxovra xard X$a xal xa-rd xwpov. 

6 e? T6icov StWeXaooov Ix^xeiXav r?)v vauv. 

6 Lieutenant Smith, Horn. Rev., August, 1919, p, 110. 


but a landsman. And yet he was not a landlubber. He 
loved the sea and knew the sea by experience, else he could 
never have written this chapter. No study of books could 
have given him the ready and accurate use of technical terms 
that we see. Lieutenant Smith 1 holds that Luke spent years 
on the sea as a traveller. He suggests that Luke may have 
been a surgeon on some of the Mediterranean vessels. Luke 
knew the language of the sea. "We sailed under the lee of 
Cyprus" (27:4), "keeping northward with a westerly wind 
on the beam." 2 So "we sailed under the lee of Crete" (27 : 7), 
but "running under the lee 3 of a small island, Clauda" (27 : 16). 
"Here they ran before the wind under the lee of Clauda." 4 

The officers (27 : 11) on the second ship are the pilot or sail 
ing-master or steersman, 5 and the captain. These are both 
under the control of the centurion. The sailors 6 (27 : 27, 30) 
detected the nearness of land by the soundings. The ship is 
called by the old classic Greek word 7 only once (27:41) and 
it occurs here alone in the New Testament. The skiff or life 
boat was towed behind. 

The word for the gear 8 or sail (27 : 17) which was lowered 
in the storm was used of the sheet seen by Peter in his vision 
at Joppa (10:11). There was another word for the small 
foresail 9 which was hoisted up to the wind in time of storm 
(27 : 40). Roman ships did not usually have a sail at the 
stern. 10 The large mainsail was fastened to a long yard. It 
was reefed 11 in time of storm: "We gave way to it and were 
driven" (27:15). Robinson 12 thinks that Paul may have 
made sails as well as tents, and may have thus earned his 
passage in some of his voyages. Some (Blass, Breusing) inter 
pret "gear" (27 : 17) to mean cables with weights attached to 
retard the progress of the ship. Luke does not speak of masts, 
though they are implied. The Romans had three-masted ves 
sels, though most of them, like the corn-ships, had only the 
mainmast and the foremast. 

1 Op. cit., p. 103. 2 Ramsay, op. cit., p. 328. u-jcs < rcXe6ja[jiev. 

3 JixoSpa^vre?. 4 Ramsay, op. tit., p. 328. 

6 Called 6 e&e&vuv in Jas. 3:4. 6 vaOrat. 

7 vau?. Elsewhere xXolov for the ship (27 : 15, 30) and the little boat 
was termed ax&<j>Y) (27 : 16). 

8 oxeuo?. 9 tbv dpTd(jLo>va. 

10 J. Smith, op. tit., p. 192. !xtS6vTe<; I4>ep6{ie8a. 
"Hastings s Diet, of Ap. Ch. ("Ship"). 


The word "helps" l (27 : 17) was applied to cables for under- 
girding and strengthening the hull of the ship to prevent the 
ship s timbers from straining too much in a storm. They 
were used either transversely amidship under the keel or 
lengthwise from stern to stern. The tackling 2 of the ship 
(27 : 19) included all the ship s necessary furniture, everything 
movable lying about or on the deck. The cargo or lading 3 
(27 : 10) was wheat 4 (27 : 38) and it was thrown out only 
toward the last. The ropes 5 (27 : 32) held the little life-boat. 

The ship was impelled only by sail and not by rowers, as 
many of the Greek ships were. The only paddles were the 
rudders 6 (27 : 40), which were braced up with bands 7 so that 
the anchors 8 could more easily be lowered at the stern 
(27 : 29, 40). Four anchors are here mentioned, but others 
were probably for use both at the prow (27 : 30) and the stern. 
Anchors, now of iron with hooks or teeth-like extremities for 
gripping, and no longer mere stones, were needed to keep 
the vessel from dashing upon the rocks. As soon as they cast 
off the anchors, the vessel, under the impact of the wind, made 
for the beach (27 : 40). The anchors from the stern made it 
unnecessary to turn the vessel in the storm, which was very 
dangerous. Nelson lowered anchors from the stern at Copen 
hagen. In Heb. 6 : 19 a beautiful use is made of hope, as the 
anchor which lays hold of Jesus, the rock of our salvation, 
out of sight within the veil, but sure and steadfast. This 
anchor holds in every storm. 

Each ship then, as now, had its individual ensign 9 (28: 11). 
The third ship in this memorable voyage in which Paul and 
Luke and Aristarchus embarked for Puteoli from Malta had 
the sign of Dioscuri 10 (sons of Zeus) or twin brothers. As a 
rule the sign was painted on the prow. 11 A flag usually floated 
from the stern 12 and the whole hull was painted. The ancients 
may not have used camouflage, though ornaments (a swan or 
a goose head) were painted on the stern-post. Sometimes 
eyes 13 were painted on the prow of the vessel (27 : 15). 

1 $OTj0e(ai<; e%p6)VTO &xot/ovv6vTS rb xXotov. 

2 axeu^. 3 <f>opTfov. Cf. Gal. 6 : 5. 
4 OITOV. 6 

8 dcyxupa?. 9 xapdtarj^ov. 

10 Aioaxo&pots. Castor and Pollux. u ex XP^PTJ? (27: 30). 

12 iv. xp6{Avrj<; (27:29). 13 So had the wind eye to eye. 


The sounding 1 was done by sounding-leads 2 or plumb-lines 
dropped at intervals. Modern sailors follow the same method 
for telling the approach of land. 

It is a wonderful story that Luke has told in Acts 27. He 
knew the lingo of the sailors and was at home on the sea. He 
employs fourteen verbs about the progress of a ship, and all 
but three occur in Luke alone in the New Testament. 3 

Ramsay 4 concludes that the only difficulty that remains in 
Smith of JordanhuTs identification of St. Paul s Bay in Malta 
as the scene of the shipwreck is the fact that it is not now a 
sandy beach. But the waves may have washed away the 
sand during the centuries. It is a wonderful story and one is 
content to leave it now as it stands. "We have seen in our 
examination that every statement as to the movements of the 
ship from the time when she left Fair Havens until she was 
beached at Malta, as set forth by St. Luke, has been verified 
by external and independent evidence of the most exact and 
satisfying nature." 5 What more has one a right to demand 
of Luke or of any historian ? This chapter alone would rank 
Luke among the great writers of the world. 

3 J. Smith, op. cit., pp. 27 f. Op. til., p. 241. 

6 Lieutenant Smith, Horn. Rev., August, 1919, p. 110. 



"Paul, standing on the stairs, beckoned with the hand unto the 
people; and when there was made a great silence, he spake unto 
them in the Hebrew language" (Acts 21 : 40). 

The decision that Luke wrote the Acts does not necessarily 
show that the speeches in the book are authentic. 2 This sep 
arate question calls for special inquiry. 

1. The Custom of Ancient Historians. We have the example 
of Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon, Polybius, Livy, Josephus, 
Tacitus, Dio Cassius, to go no further. These writers record 
numerous speeches. Are they verbatim reports such as a mod 
ern stenographer takes down or like the speeches in the Con 
gressional Record, printed even if not delivered? We know 
that the ancients did have a system of shorthand. Speakers 
then, as now, would make notes of speeches that were not 
written out in full. Part of the business of advocates, like 
Lysias in Athens, was to compose speeches for men to make 
in self-defense before the Athenian assembly. The speeches of 
Demosthenes were written by himself, and bear the marks of 
the most elaborate preparation and finish to the last detail. 
The same remark applies to the speeches of Cicero, which he 
himself wrote out. But the funeral oration of Pericles does 
not stand upon the same level of genuineness. Thucydides 
composed such an address as was suitable to represent the 
ideas of Pericles for the occasion. To-day we have modern 
reporters for addresses of importance that are not in manu 
script form. Percy Gardner says: "We know very well that 
there was no class of reporters of speeches in antiquity. Nor if 
there had been would they have reported the words of an 
obscure itinerant Jew." 3 But Luke was not wholly dependent 
upon official reporters for his knowledge of the various ad- 

^omiletic Review, Vol. 80. 

2 M. Jones, St. Paul the Orator, p. 9. 

3 "The Speeches of St. Paul in Acts" (Cambridge Bible Essays, p. 392). 



dresses that he has preserved in Acts. Still, we must not try 
to hold ancient historians to the precise methods and aims of 
modern writers. Gardner 1 insists that ancient writers cared 
more for style and convention, and were more conventional 
when they were composing works of art. "When an ancient 
historian inserts in his narrative a speech by one of the char 
acters of his history, it is only in quite exceptional cases that 
we are to suppose that such a speech was actually delivered, 
or that he means to say that it was actually delivered. It 
was a regular convention of historical writing that the his 
torian should express his views of a situation by making the 
chief actors in that situation utter speeches in which it is ex 
plained." 2 That is true, but it does not follow that Luke nec 
essarily did the same thing. At any rate, one must look at 
the facts as far as they can be obtained. Gardner 3 refuses to 
put the speeches of Paul in Acts on a par with Romans and 
Galatians in historical value. 

There were three methods employed by ancient writers in 
reporting addresses. One plan was to write a sort of prose 
drama with free composition of speeches for the characters like 
the English and Roman historical plays of Shakespeare. One 
sees this method in Herodotus and Tacitus. Another method 
was rhetorical rather than dramatic and is seen in Thucydides 
and Sallust. Thucydides frankly acknowledged his practice. 
These are free compositions of the writer, but they embody 
reminiscences of the author and of witnesses of the events who 
heard the address. Machiavelli as late as the sixteenth cen 
tury had the same method. Here the address was a fact and 
the report contains a modicum of the real ideas of the speaker 
as touched up by the writer. Another method was to give a 
condensed report of the address such as we find in the Gos 
pels, where often extracts from Christ s sermons occur rather 
than the full discourse. There was freedom in the rendering of 
the sense of the sayings of Jesus, though the substance be the 
same. One can test Luke s own method here in using Mark, 
the Logia and the other sources for his Gospel. Gardner 4 
thinks that each writer had his own custom in the matter. 
" And that which at present concerns us is what conventions in 
this respect were observed by Luke, who must, as has already 

1 Ibid., p. 392. 2 Ibid., p. 393. 

1 Ibid., p. 392. 4 Ibid., p. 393. 



been observed, be regarded as a Greek literary man, and one 
of very great talent." 1 

2. Luke as a Reporter. One class of writers regards the 
speeches in the Acts as mere rhetorical exercises without any 
historical worth (Schmiedel, S. Davidson, Bacon). These men 2 
argue that the picture of Paul in the speeches in the Acts is 
contradictory and unlike that in his Epistles. If Luke followed 
the method of Herodotus and Tacitus, we must not appeal to 
the speeches in Acts for the ideas of any one but Luke himself. 

Gardner 3 holds that "Luke in his use of speeches stands be 
tween the ethical and dramatic tendency of Herodotus and 
Tacitus and the rhetorical tendency of Thucydides and Sal- 
lust." That is to say, Gardner ranks Luke above Herod 
otus, but below Thucydides. "In the Gospel the rhetor 
ical bent is far less clearly to be traced than in the Acts." 
That is to say, Gardner considers the birth stories in Luke 1 
and 2 to be "in a region of myth," "hymns, very beautiful 
and very Christian, but freely composed for the persons in 
whose mouths they are put." Gardner 4 offers us this consola 
tion that "if so, we gain a very high view of the extraordinary 
versatility and literary skill of the Evangelist." He thinks 
that Luke is more of a compiler than a composer in the sayings 
of Jesus. In the Acts "the circumstances are different." "It 
is impossible to deny the possibility or even the probability 
that the author may have built in some degree upon reports 
and rumors of speeches made upon striking occasions by the 
leaders of the Church. But the language is certainly Lukan." 5 
Gardner 6 thinks it far more likely that a careless historian like 
Luke would freely compose the speeches than that he "would 
search out hearers of these speeches and make precise notes of 
their recollections." That is plausible, but it is wholly a priori, 
as one can see, and rests upon a theory of Luke s historical 
worth that has been discredited by the researches of Ramsay. 
Moffatt 7 holds that "the excellent historical sense of the 
author" restrained Luke, "who, while following in the main 
the ordinary methods of ancient historiography in the compo 
sition of such speeches, was careful to avoid moulding and 

1 Ibid., p. 394. 2 See Schmiedel, "Acts" in Encycl. Biblica. 

3 Op. cit., p. 394. 4 Op. cit., p. 394. 

5 Ibid. 6 Ibid., p. 395. 

7 Mr. to Lit. of N. T., p. 306. 


shaping his materials with a freedom which should obliterate 
the special cast of their aim and temper. These materials 
were probably furnished in the main by oral traditions." 
Certainly, this is a much more likely picture of the facts than 
that of either Schmiedel or Gardner. 

But, after all, with Luke s own account of the sayings of Jesus 
in the light of Mark and Q, one cannot help wondering why 
we are forbidden to think that Luke followed the same method 
in the Acts. If he consulted sources, written and oral, for the 
addresses of Jesus in the Gospel, as can be proven, it is natural 
to think that he pursued the same careful research in the Acts. 
He made selections from the material in the Gospel, as he 
apparently did in the Acts. His reports in the Acts vary in 
the degree of completeness, as in the Gospel. We know that 
Luke heard some of Paul s addresses, which he reports. He 
had abundant opportunity to consult those who heard others, 
as we have seen in the study of the sources of the Acts. Luke 
was in touch personally with James and Paul. Philip and 
Paul heard Stephen. Mark and Philip and Manaen heard 
Peter. "The speaker in the earlier part may represent not 
untrustworthily the primitive Jewish-Christian preaching of 
the period." l 

Besides, one can test the speeches of Peter, James, and Paul 
by their Epistles. No one claims that Luke read those Epis 
tles and aimed to reproduce their style and teaching. It is 
admitted on all sides that the speeches of the different speakers 
in the Acts differ and have a striking verisimilitude to the 
probable facts. 2 If Luke composed them all, he was a remark 
able literary genius. It is worth while to examine the facts 
and see if it is not true that, while Luke s own style appears in 
various ways in the condensed reports, after all the reports 
faithfully represent the substance and the essential language 
of the original addresses. 

3. The Speeches of Peter. Fortunately there are a number 
of these, such as the address to the one hundred and twenty 
concerning the fate of Judas and the choice of his successor 
(1 : 15-22), the great address at Pentecost (2 : 14-39), the 

1 Moffatt, ibid., p. 305. 

2 Blass, Ada Apostolorum, p. 11: "Quo intentius has orationes inspexeris, 
eo plura in eis reperies, quce cum sint temporibus personisque egregie accom- 
modata, ad rhetoricam licentiam scriptoris referri se veient." 


speech at Solomon s porch (3 : 12-26), three before the Sanhe- 
drin (4 : 8-12, 19; 5 : 29-32), one to Ananias (5 : 3-4) and one 
to Sapphira (5:9), the address to Cornelius and his household 
(10:28-29, 34-43, 47), the defense in Jerusalem (11:4-17), 
the address at the Jerusalem conference (15 : 7-11). Here we 
possess data sufficient for a comparison with I Peter and 
II Peter, also, if one does not reject it as a basis of comparison. 
Bigg 1 in his excellent Commentary does not draw any com 
parison between the language and theology of I Peter and 
Peter s speeches in Acts. He thinks it likely that Silvanus 
polished up Peter s Greek in this Epistle, and as Luke s own 
style appears to some extent in the speeches the comparison is 
not easy. 

And yet the fundamental ideas in Peter s theology appear 
in his speeches. Peter s speeches reflect the new light and the 
new courage that came with Pentecost and that shine in his 
Epistles. It is probable that Peter delivered all these ad 
dresses in Aramaic, as was his later custom, with Mark as 
interpreter, except that at Pentecost, where Jews from all over 
the world were present, and that at Csesarea to Cornelius. 
These two were probably in Greek. Peter was bilingual, as 
was Paul, though he was far less at home in the Greek than 
Paul. If Luke made use of Aramaic sources for the Gospel 
(chapters 1 and 2), he could do so for Peter s speeches when 
necessary. Knowling thinks that Luke had written sources 
for Peter s speeches besides the benefit of the recollections of 
those who heard them. We know that Peter s addresses are 
not reported in full, for "with many other words he testified 
and exhorted them" (Acts 2:40). It is quite possible that 
Peter himself made brief notes of some of his more important 
addresses after they were delivered, or others may have done 
so at Luke s request. Moffatt 2 quotes Overbeck as saying: 
"To the doctrinal discourses of Peter we may in a certain sense 
grant that they faithfully represent the primitive preaching of 
the Messiah by the Apostles, and that so far they possess a 
certain originality." That is a very cautious statement and 
far short of the whole truth. The Christology of Peter s 
speeches is primitive and is to be compared with that of Mark 
and Q. It is primitive in comparison with that of Paul s 
Epistles and of Peter s Epistles. "It is clear that these early 

1 P. 6. 2 Op. tit., p. 305. 


chapters give a picture of the primitive community which is 
quite different from what existed within the experience of the 
writer, and Pwhich is in itself probable." l The speeches of 
Peter reproduce an early stage of development, just as the 
birth narratives in Luke 1 and 2 are the most primitive things 
in the New Testament. There is no doubt whatever about 
the primitive picture of Christianity in Acts 1-12, where Peter 
figures. It is natural to think that Luke drew this picture 
from actual data. 

4. The Speech of Stephen. This speech (7 : 2-53, 56, 59) has 
every mark of genuineness. It will not do to say that Luke 
could not have gotten a report of this address. Paul himself 
heard it (Acts 8 : 1; 26 : 10). Philip almost certainly heard it. 
Either could have reproduced the line of argument for Luke. 
Stephen himself may have made a full outline of his address 
in Aramaic, since it was a formal defense or apologia. There 
are Lukan turns of thought in the report, but not more than 
is natural if Luke translated an Aramaic document. There are 
in the speech a number of variations from and additions to the 
Old Testament, some of which appear in Philo. Stephen dis 
puted in Jerusalem in "the synagogue of the Libertines, and 
of the Cyrenians and of the Alexandrians" (Acts 6:9). He 
was a Hellenistic Jew, like all the seven (6:5), and may have 
been from Alexandria, and probably disputed with Saul in the 
synagogue of Cilicia (6:9). It is not necessary here to survey 
the points where Stephen and Philo agree. Rackham 2 has 
presented them fully. They are chiefly extrascriptural details, 
such as appear also in the Talmud and in Josephus. In the 
ministry of the angels in the giving of the ten commandments 
(Acts 7:53) Stephen is followed by Paul (Gal. 3: 19). But 
the significant thing is that Luke preserves these items, which 
are so different from the Old Testament and from the rest of 
the New Testament. 

The speech itself fits in perfectly with the picture that Luke 
has drawn in the Gospel and in the Acts. Jesus himself was 
arraigned before the Sanhedrin on the charge of blasphemy, 
because false witnesses were bribed to say that he was going 
to destroy , the temple, with the pretense that he could build 
it again in three days. Jesus kept silent and only confessed 
on oath that he was the Messiah, the Son of God, but they 

1 Headlam, Hastings s D. B. ("Acts"). 2 The Acts, pp. 99-102. 


crucified him. Stephen made a formal apology, and they 
stoned him in a rage, lynched him like a mob, as they tried to 
do to Jesus several times, and probably would have done if 
he had made a defense as Stephen did. 

The inner connection of the spirit of Stephen with the his 
tory argues for the authenticity of the speech. The Twelve 
Apostles had trouble from the Sadducees because they pro 
claimed the resurrection of Jesus, while the Pharisees held 
aloof. Stephen, himself a Hellenist, was the first to see the 
wider reach of the mission of Jesus, that not only included 
Gentiles and Jews, but treated Gentiles as on a par with Jews. 
Stephen saw that Jesus thought the spiritual nature of wor 
ship independent of place or race, as Jesus expounded to the 
Samaritan woman in John 4. The Hellenistic Jews in the 
synagogues in Jerusalem saw that Stephen robbed the Jews of 
their prerogatives and privileges, and bluntly charged him 
with preaching against Moses and God. Thus quickly Stephen 
had created a revolution of which he was the victim. He 
roused the Pharisees, who turned on him as they had on Jesus, 
but more suddenly and more fiercely. Stephen s passionate 
speech is the longest in the Acts, as long as any three of Paul s 
sermons, and is justified, because of the importance and sig 
nificance of it to Luke s narrative. Stephen s career marks 
the second stage in the apostolic history. "He, being made 
perfect in a short time, fulfilled a long time; for his soul pleased 
the Lord. Therefore it hasted from the midst of wickedness" 
( Wisdom 4; 13 f.). ^ 

Stephen is the bridge (Rackham) from Peter to Paul in the 
interpretation of Christ. Like Peter, Stephen makes Jesus a 
second Moses, a prophet like unto Moses, but, unlike Peter at 
this stage, he saw beyond the temple and the law to the free 
men in Christ among the Gentiles who would come to Christ 
without becoming Jews. Peter saw that later at Joppa and 
Csesarea (Acts 10). Paul will one day become the great 
champion of Gentile liberty against the Judaizers (see Gala- 
tians). But now his soul raged against the man who had 
struck at the glory of Moses, as he thought. Some day Paul 
will find the true Israel in those very Gentiles (Romans 9-11). 
At Athens Paul will expound eloquently to the cultured Greeks 
the very gospel that God dwells not in temples made with 
hands, for which he helped to stone Stephen now. Stephen 


appealed to the covenant with Abraham before the law, as 
Paul will do in Gal. 3 : 17. Stephen finally turned on the stiff- 
necked and uncircumcised Jews who always resisted the Holy 
Spirit (7 : 51), precisely as Paul will one day turn away from 
the Jews to the Gentiles at Antioch in Pisidia (13 : 46) and at 
Corinth (18:6). "If Stephen had not prayed, Paul had not 
preached." Paul finally took up the torch of Stephen and 
passed it on. Peter will preach the same glorious message, 
also. Stephen was the man of vision, who saw the full truth 
ahead of his time and dared to proclaim it. 

Luke has given the trial and defense of Stephen a dramatic 
setting and has shown the historian s insight in the way that 
he has presented the whole story. The speech bears every 
mark of a real report. It is full of life and power. It left its 
mark on Paul. It blazed the way for the future expansion of 
Christianity. It broke the shackles of Judaism. It defied 
Pharisaism. It flashed before the Jewish world the heart of 
Christ s message and mission to the whole wide world. 

5. The Speech of James. In Acts 15 : 13-21 Luke has a 
speech delivered by James, the brother of Jesus, who presided 
over the conference in Jerusalem. In 15 : 23-29 he gives the 
circular epistle drawn up apparently by James and adopted by 
the conference and sent to Antioch by Judas and Silas, along 
with Paul and Barnabas (15 : 22 f.), and later carried by Paul 
and Silas to the churches of Galatia (15 : 4). It was common 
enough to send a formal epistle by messengers or "apostles," 
as Paul did (cf . II Cor. 8 : 23) and as the churches did. The 
Second Book of Maccabees begins with a letter about the puri 
fication of the temple. It was easy enough for Luke to obtain 
a copy of this circular epistle, since so many were distributed 
to the churches. But this epistle embodied the resolution of 
James in his address, and was almost certainly written by 
James and read to the conference for their indorsement. In 
the epistle the order is "Barnabas and Paul" (15: 25), for in 
Jerusalem it is still "our beloved brother Barnabas" who has 
more influence with the Christians then than Paul. In Galatia 
and Antioch it had already become " Paul and Barnabas." 

The style of the epistle and the speech of James is the same. 
James calls Peter "Symeon," the Aramaic form of Simon, seen 
also in II Peter 1:1. James indorses the speech of Peter and 
proves by Scripture that Peter is right. James shows the 


same kind of practical wisdom in his speech 1 which settles the 
controversy with freedom for the Gentiles and in harmony 
with the teaching of the Old Testament in a way to satisfy all 
Jewish Christians save the extreme Judaizers. It was a real 
eirenicon, but no half-way compromise, and is strikingly like 
the discussion in the Epistle of James (1:5; 3 : 10-18). Luke 
was with James (Acts 21 : 18 f.) and would have no trouble in 
getting the speech of James and the circular epistle to which 
James refers (21 : 25), practically claiming to be the author of 
the letter: "We wrote, giving judgment." James may have 
delivered his speech in Aramaic, but he knows Greek well, as 
his Epistle shows. If Luke translated the speech and the cir 
cular letter, that would explain any Lukan traits discernible 
in them. 

The Epistle of James shows striking similarities to the speech 
of James and the circular letter written by James. Mayor 2 
says: "I cannot but think it a remarkable coincidence that, 
out of two hundred and thirty words contained in the speech 
and the circular, so many should reappear in our Epistle, 
written on a totally different subject." It is possible that the 
Epistle of James was written before the conference in Jeru 
salem. 3 If so, James has written the first Epistle which has 
come down to us, unless Galatians comes earlier, which I 
consider quite unlikely. The circular letter, also written by 
James, would then be the second Epistle preserved for us. 
The Epistle of James bears a resemblance to the Cynic dia 
tribe, 4 but the Jews were long familiar with this form of lit 
erature. 5 Once more the data fit all the known facts, without 
saying that Luke made up the speech of James and the circu 
lar letter. 

6. The Speeches of Paul. These addresses are the most 
important items on this phase of the subject. They are the 
basis of special treatises by Bethge, 6 Percy Gardner 7 and 
M. Jones. 8 We may agree at once that these speeches of Paul 

1 Rackham, Acts, p. 254. z Comm. on James, p. Hi. 

3 Robertson, Practical and Social Aspects of Christianity, p. 35. 

4 Ropes, Ep. of James, p. 16. 

6 Cf. letters in II Chron. 21 : 12; 30 : 1; 32 : 17; Jer. 29 : 1, 25. 

6 Die paulinischen Reden. 

7 "The Speeches of St. Paul in Acts" (Cambridge Biblical Essays, pp. 

8 St. Paid the Orator. 


in Acts must all be examined separately, and that they do not 
necessarily stand on the same level in point of proof as to 
authenticity. Bethge 1 argues that the speeches of Paul all 
show the marks of an eye-witness. We may agree with Gard 
ner 2 that the speech to the elders of Ephesus at Miletus (Acts 
20 : 18-35) has the best claim of all to be historic. But that 
admission does not discredit the others as Gardner thinks. 
He holds the speech at Athens (17:22-31) to be "the least 
authentic of the Pauline discourses in Acts." That is pre 
cisely the point to be examined. It is plain that the speeches 
of Paul in Acts are only a small selection of an immense num 
ber of addresses made by Paul. 3 It is true, also, that Luke 
has chosen the occasions for the speeches which he does give, 
so "as to bring into strong relief the various sides of his min 
istry and of his doctrine." 4 But it is just as easy to suppose 
that Luke, being with Paul in Rome when he wrote the Acts, 
drew upon Paul s memory and upon Paul s notes and outlines 
of his discourses as to imagine that Luke made a free composi 
tion of Paul s addresses for the purpose of representing Paul 
properly on various occasions. To me it is far simpler and 
more natural to conceive that Luke followed his usual plan of 
using all available data for his narrative. It is hard to see 
why he should pass Paul by in the matter of his own speeches, 
which he would surely wish to win Paul s sanction. 

One must not make too much of Paul s reference to the 
charge of his enemies in Corinth that "his speech is of no 
account" (II Cor. 10 : 10), as if Luke had to write out eloquent 
addresses for Paul on the set occasions in the Acts. Paul him 
self did make disclaimers of rhetorical oratory after the order 
of the Greek dialectic. 5 He preached the Gospel "not in wis 
dom of words" (I Cor. 1 : 17) and "my speech and my preach 
ing were not in persuasive words of wisdom" (I Cor. 2:4). 
That is, from the standpoint of the false taste of the Corin 
thians, some of whom later made the very charges against 
him. But we have abundant proof of Paul s real power of 
speech in his Epistles. There is no lack of passion and of 
power in them and, at times, Paul rises to the heights of real 

1 Die pavlinischen Reden, p. 174. 

2 Cambridge Biblical Essays, p. 401. 

3 M. Jones, St. Paul the Orator, p. 3. 

4 Gardner, op. cit., p. 395. * Jones, op. tit., p. 2. 


eloquence (cf. I Cor. 13, 15; Romans 8; Phil. 3). There is 
variety in the style of Paul s Epistles according to subject- 
matter and time and mood. It is no surprise, therefore, to 
find like adaptations in his addresses to time and place and 
theme. Paul spoke, as he wrote, to the audience before him. 
He went after the verdict, though he always applied the eternal 
principles of the Gospel to the topic in hand. 

Gardner 1 thinks that two influences helped Luke to make a 
good report of Paul s speeches: (1) his close relation to Paul 
and (2) his fine dramatic sense, which would keep him from 
grossly misrepresenting Paul. On the other hand, he thinks 
that Luke was handicapped (1) by his sense of the conventions 
of historic writing, and (2) " looseness and carelessness of state 
ment, which almost obliterates for him the line between fact 
and rumor, between that which actually occurred and that 
which ought to have occurred." It is pure hypothesis to 
shackle Luke with the conventional theories of Thucydides 
and Josephus, when we can test his critical habit by his use 
of Mark and Q. The alleged " carelessness " of Luke lies in 
the imagination of Baur and Schmiedel. The facts of modern 
discovery have effectually disposed of those wholesale charges 
as we have already abundantly seen. The thing to do is to 
test the reports of Paul s speeches by the canons of criticism. 

Gardner 2 divides Paul s speeches into two classes: (1) those 
at Antioch and Athens, which were "free compositions of 
Luke"; (2) the later speeches, "which would naturally be 
largely affected by personal memories." Gardner 3 denies that 
he has taken away the "value" of Paul s speeches, for Luke 
knew Paul s views so well that " his fine dramatic sense would 
render him apt at expressing Paul s usual way of proceeding." 
Chase 4 holds that Luke had actual data for all the speeches, 
and retained Paul s original ideas, though he may have given 
them "greater fulness and elaboration, and a more distinctly 
literary flavor." Per contra, one must bear in mind that the 
reports all bear evidence of great condensation. Hence Jones 5 
is right in contending that "while they betray considerable 
proofs of editing on St. Luke s part, in the way of summarizing 
and epitomizing, many expressions and phrases being undoubt- 

1 Op. tit., pp. 415 f. 2 Op. tit., p. 396. 

3 Op. tit., p. 396. * The Credibility of the Ads, pp. 108 f. 

6 Op. cU., p. 17. 


edly Lukan, the utterances are, in the main, those of the 
Apostle, and that through the major portion of their contents 
we are listening to the voice of St. Paul himself." I feel sure 
that this is a very moderate statement of the facts. The voice 
of Paul is heard in these addresses as the voice of Jesus comes 
to us in Luke s Gospel. 

This judgment is reinforced by a consideration of the prob 
able sources of the speeches of Paul. We know that Luke 
was present at Miletus: "We came to Miletus" (Acts 20 : 15). 
So he heard that notable address to the elders, the noblest of 
all talks to preachers, save the many to the disciples by Jesus 
in the Gospels. We know also that he was present in Jerusa 
lem (21 : 17 f.) where Paul spoke to the mob from the steps of 
the tower of Antonia (22 : 1-21). There is no reason for 
thinking that he was not present in Caesarea, where Paul spoke 
before Felix, Festus and Herod Agrippa II (24-26). Jones 1 
argues that beyond a doubt the report of the address before 
Agrippa is "the work of an eye-witness, or a copy from an 
original source." We know that Luke was with Paul in Rome 
(28 : 14, 16), and so heard Paul s two addresses to the Jews 
there (28:17-28). Luke was also with Paul in Philippi 
(Acts 16), but he was not present in Thessalonica, Bercea, 
Athens or Corinth. We do not know that he was with Paul 
in the first campaign in south Galatia. Jones 2 thinks that 
the extremely vivid narratives and reports of Paul s extended 
address at Antioch in Pisidia (13 : 16-41), and the striking 
speech in Lystra (14 : 12-17) argue for Luke s presence with 
Paul. But that is very uncertain. What we do know is that 
Luke was with Paul and had every opportunity to obtain 
Paul s recollections or notes of these addresses, which he him 
self did not hear. "The trustworthiness of the speeches is, 
therefore, in some measure, guaranteed by the fact, in the 
case of many of them, that they are reported by one who 
actually listened to them, and where this is not the case, they 
are reproduced from materials supplied either by the speaker 
himself or by his companions." 3 

It is hard to overestimate the value of the Pauline speeches. 
"The primary Pauline Gospel we owe almost entirely to the 
speeches, and from this aspect they are invaluable. By means 

1 Op. tit., p. 236. 2 Op. ciL, p. 19. * Ibid., p. 20. 


of these we are able to trace the Pauline system of doctrine 
from its very rudiments." l 

The genuineness of the speeches alone explains Luke s report 
of two addresses so much alike as those in Acts 22 and 26, and 
that cover the conversion of Paul already adequately told in 
Acts 9. Besides, there are apparent inconsistencies on minor 
points in these three accounts of Paul s conversion that yield 
to plausible explanations on close study, but that are unnatural 
if Luke composed all three reports. The repetition is other 
wise needless and the discrepancies superfluous. 

Ramsay 2 calls attention to the marvellous adaptation of 
Paul s speeches to the local atmosphere, a coincidence hardly 
possible for a writer composing at a distance. He cites the 
address at Antioch in Pisidia, Lystra and Athens as instances. 
Local color is reproduced precisely in each case. Ramsay 
notes a likeness of tone in the speeches in Antioch and Lystra 
and the Epistle to the Galatians. The speech in Athens is 
attacked as unlike Paul in language and in spirit. But it is as 
unlike Luke as it is Paul. The Attic flavor can be proof of 
Paul s versatility. The appeal to natural theology occurs also 
in the speech at Lystra and is precisely in harmony with Paul s 
argument in Romans 1 and 2. It is not true that Paul sur 
rendered his Gospel message in the presence of the Stoic and 
Epicurean philosophers, for he accented repentance, judgment 
and the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. He probably 
meant to stress other great doctrines, if the whimsical Athe 
nians had not cut short his address. Ramsay 3 notes that the 
address at Lystra was more simple while that at Athens before 
an educated audience took on a more philosophical turn. But 
Paul attacked idolatry as courageously in Athens as in Lystra. 
The sermon at Antioch in Pisidia is remarkable for its Pauline 
doctrine of justification by faith instead of by works, and for 
its grasp of the salient points concerning the life and death of 
Christ. By means of the speeches we see Paul the preacher 
as we could not otherwise know him. 4 

There is no doubt that Luke has shown consummate skill 
in reproducing strategic and dramatic staging for Paul s vari 
ous addresses. That was his task as the historian. But he 
has not been convicted of merely following the conventional 

1 Jones, ibid., p. 21. 2 St. Paul the Traveller, pp. 144 ff. 

3 Op. cit., p. 147, 4 See Rosser, Paul the Preacher. 


practice of inventing the discourses for Peter, Stephen, James 
and Paul which cut so large a figure in his book. 

The very diversity exhibited is more readily explained by 
the use of actual data for the various addresses. The short 
speech of Tertullus (Acts 24 : 2-28) was made in public, as was 
that of Festus in 25 : 24-27. The letter of Claudius Lysias in 
23 : 27-30 was a public document. It is not so easy to explain 
how Luke got the data for the conversation between Festus 
and Agrippa in 25 : 14-22. But Luke may have resources of 
which we know nothing. It is really amazing, all things con 
sidered, how we can follow his tracks for nearly the whole of 
the many discourses that adorn the Book of Acts. "He chose 
rather to include the speeches as we possess them, with their 
many difficulties, their manifest inconsistencies on some points, 
because they represent the genuine utterances of his master." 1 
We may thank Luke for this fidelity as for his other gifts and 

1 Jones, op, tit,, p, 291. 



"There was a man of Macedonia standing, beseeching him, and 
saying, Come over into Macedonia and help us" (Acts 16: 9). 

This man was probably Luke, as we have seen. At any 
rate, the sentence properly pictures Luke as a man of his times 
who was interested in the world problems of his day. 

1. The Versatility of Luke. We cannot have come thus far 
in the discussion of the writings of Luke without seeing that 
he was a man of great gifts and of fine culture. He had the 
opportunity of scholastic training. He was accurate without 
pedantry. Plummer 1 terms him " the most versatile of all the 
New Testament writers." He was a man of genius who toiled 
at his task like a plodder. "The humanism of the Hellenistic 
world pervades him " 2 and yet he is simple in his love and 
loyalty to Jesus as Lord and Saviour. He is a skilful physician 
who reverently sees in Christ the Great Physician for both 
soul and body. He can write literary Koine like Plutarch and 
yet closely follows his Aramaic sources. He hides himself all 
the while, and yet his own beautiful style crops out at every 
turn. He has "the power of merging himself, all but his 
style, in the persons of those whose story he is telling." 3 He is 
a Greek and a Christian, a friend of Paul and of Theophilus, 
a physician and a preacher, a literary man and a friend of the 
poor, a champion of women and of children, a friend of the 
good and of sinners, a historian and a poet, a mystic and a 
musician, a humanitarian and a humanist, a traveller on land 
and on sea, a student of the Scriptures and a medical mission 
ary, a harmonizer of science and of theology, the interpreter 
of Peter and of Paul, but most of all the lover and interpreter 
of Jesus Christ, a man of prayer and of faith. "One cannot 
help feeling how delightful and lovable as a man he must have 
been." 4 

1 Comm., p. xlix. 2 Gardner, op. cit., p. 387. 

3 Ibid. 4 Ibid. 



I cannot close this volume without some expression of my 
own admiration for Luke. Even Percy Gardner 1 can say: 
"All these qualities color the Gospel and the Acts alike, mak 
ing them exquisite works of literary art and great monuments 
of refined Christian feeling." It is small wonder that this 
man so won the heart of Paul that he calls him "the beloved 
physician." He has won the heart of the whole world. Ram 
say 2 has a chapter on "The Charm of Paul." One could easily 
write on the charm of Luke who charmed Paul. It is impossi 
ble to exaggerate the importance of Luke s contribution to 
Christianity. Luke and John and Paul and the author of 
Hebrews (Apollos?) represent the acme of culture in early 
Christianity. The author of Hebrews is the masterful inter 
preter of Christianity in the light of Judaism and as its suc 
cessor and superior. John is the rapt and clear-eyed mystic, 
the eagle soaring above the clouds and the storm. Paul is the 
mighty and masterful protagonist of Christ, the "Illuminator 
of Luke," as Tertullian calls him. Luke is the versatile scholar 
and the humane and gentle scientist who has painted his pic 
ture-gallery of Jesus and his followers on broad canvas and in 
bold and yet delicate lines. 

2. Luke a Cosmopolitan. Luke was a citizen of the world 
like Paul and even more so. Paul was a Jew with a touch of 
the Greek and of the Roman who became a Christian. Luke 
was a Greek in a Roman world who became a Christian. He 
was without the racial and religious prejudices of the Jew, 
though he came to take a lively interest in all things Jewish in 
his study of Jesus. He shows great knowledge of the Septua- 
gint. But Luke did not have to overcome the Jew s hostility 
to the Gentiles. The Greek and the Roman were not taboo to 
him as they were once to Peter and Paul. "He is a Universal- 
ist who would have all men, to be saved, and for whom the 
difference between Jew and Gentile does not present itself 
with the same rigidity which it has in the mind of Paul." 3 It 
is Luke who records the parable of the Good Samaritan who 
does good to a poor wounded Jew by the roadside whom the 
pious priest and the Levite pass by in dread of contamination. 

For this reason Luke has no trouble in doing justice to the 
Gentiles. He draws a kindly picture of Gallio, the Roman 

1 Ibid. 2 Pauline Studies, pp. 25-45. 

3 fiaivJruYi* t\*Y\ t**l I-N OQ-T 

* ima. 

8 Gardner, op. cit., p. 387. 


proconsul, of Cornelius and Julius, the Roman centurions, of 
Gamaliel, the Pharisaic leader and sage, of the kindly curiosity 
about Paul in Athens. "He has got the sympathetic insight 
which can thoroughly enter the feelings of different parties 
such as Pharisees and Sadducees, Hebraists and Hellenists; 
different classes of society Jews and Greeks, the populace and 
better classes, local magistrates, Roman officials, Herodian 
princes; different interests Pharisaic rabbis and Sadducaic 
priests, Ephesian silversmiths and Jewish sorcerers, Roman 
aristocrats and Greek citizens; differences of culture Athenian 
philosophers and rustic Lycaonians; different professions sol 
diers and sailors. Then this appreciativeness is made effective 
by a gift of style. By a few vigorous touches he can make a 
scene live before us." 1 Carpenter 2 devotes one chapter to 
"S. Luke the Universalist." Hayes 3 calls his Gospel "The 
Gospel for the Gentiles" because it was written by a Gentile 
with Gentiles as well as Jews in mind. 

He wrote for the whole Christian world. "Of the three 
synoptic Gospels this is by far the most catholic in its sym 
pathies and universalistic in its outlook." 4 Luke traces the 
genealogy of Jesus back to Adam. He is fond of the words 
grace, Saviour, salvation and evangelize. He makes Simeon 
say that Jesus is "a light for revelation to the Gentiles" (2 : 32). 
He alone calls three Roman emperors by name (Augustus, 
Tiberius, Claudius). Van Oosterzee says that Luke raised 
" sacred history from the standpoint of Jewish national nation 
ality to the higher and holier ground of universal humanity." 
Hayes 5 puts it thus: "It is the Gospel of the real humanity of 
Jesus. It is the Gospel of Jesus as our Brother-Man. It is 
the Gospel of the Kinsman-Redeemer of the race." It is the 
Pauline Gospel and it is our Gospel, for we are mostly Gentiles, 
but it is most of all the Gospel of Jesus the Saviour. 

Chesterton 6 says of Jesus: "What nobody can possibly call 
Him is a Galilean of the time of Tiberius." He was that, but 
he was much more than that. He was the Son of Man as well 
as the Jewish Messiah. This Luke saw clearly. Carpenter, 7 

1 Rackham, The Acts, p. xlvi. 

* Christianity According to S. Luke, pp. 212-227. 

3 Syn. Gospels and Acts, pp. 205-216. 

4 Ibid., p. 206. 6 Op. eU. t p. 253. 
6 Hibbert Journal, July, 1909, p. 748. 7 Op. cit., p. 223. 


however, adds : " Some of the Jews themselves had formed the 
habit of speaking of their expected Hero as the Son of Man. 
Who is this Son of Man? God is His Father, and the holy 
nation is his mother. And for all his Jewish outlook, His 
national patriotism, and His Galilean accent, He has over 
leaped the bounds of nationality, and transcended the limita 
tions of station, century, and sex. . . . He has created, inci 
dentally, and almost casually, in the course of His redeeming 
man s soul, the only true democracy that is ever likely to exist." 
Luke sees and seizes the universal humanity of Jesus and traces 
with masterful pen the expansion of the kingdom of God from 
the handful of Galilean Jews to the confines of the Roman 
Empire with the conquest of the world and of the ages as the 
legacy of the risen Christ. 

3. Luke s Picture-Gallery. But Luke is no abstract dreamer. 
He is an internationalist, but a patriot first. He is not carried 
awa^ by ideas to the neglect of personalities. Luke is a lover of 
his human kind. He draws pictures of persons in the Gospel 
and in the Acts by a few artistic touches. One can never for 
get the picture of Zacharias, of Mary, of Elizabeth, of Simeon, 
of Anna, in the opening chapters of the Gospel, or of Martha 
and Mary in Luke 10, or of Cleopas and his companion in 
Luke 24. But in the Gospel these all radiate around Christ. 
Harnack 1 devotes a chapter to Luke s "Treatment of Persons." 
In the Acts there are two chief characters, Peter and Paul, but 
many others of second and third rank rotate around these. 
Harnack sees nothing of value in the supposed parallelism be 
tween Peter and Paul in the Acts, though he thinks that Luke s 
picture of Paul is much more distinct than that of Peter, prob 
ably because Paul was so much better known to Luke and be 
cause, also, Paul was a bolder figure. 

In the Acts there are mentioned one hundred and ten names, 
besides groups of persons whose names are not given, "and of 
these how extraordinarily their individuality is preserved." 2 
After all, persons are the most interesting data for the his 
torian. One can easily recall in the Acts Peter and John, 
Ananias and Sapphira, Annas and Caiaphas and Gamaliel, 
Stephen and Philip, James the brother of John and James the 
brother of Jesus, Barnabas and Judas, Simon Magus and Bar- 
jesus, John Mark and Silas, Ananias and Judas of Damascus, 
1 The Acts, pp. 117-132. 2 Rackham, Acts, p. xlvii. 


Saul also called Paul, Sergius Paulus and Gallic, Cornelius and 
Julius, Dorcas and Lydia, Timothy and Erastus, Aristarchus 
and Trophimus, Agabus and Apollos, Herod Agrippa I and II, 
Aquila and Priscilla, Claudius Lysias and Tertullus, Felix and 
Festus, Drusilla and Bernice, Demetrius and Publius. 

Of this number Harnack 1 notes only five personages of sec 
ondary rank from Luke s standpoint (Stephen, Philip, Barna 
bas, James and Apollos). He observes, also, that all of these 
save James the brother of Christ are Hellenists. Harnack 
thinks that the emphasis upon Stephen lies in the fact that his 
message was the bridge from Judaism to the Gentile world, 
and that this motive dominates Luke in all his use of persons 
in his story. -At any rate, Luke writes his book largely by the 
use of biographical sketches. 

But it is not a haphazard jumble. He has two heroes, Peter 
and Paul, but Paul is the dominating figure of Acts next to 
Christ, whose words and deed overshadow all ( Acts 1:1). ^ 

It is interesting to note that Luke reveals his true historical 
insight by his estimate of Paul, who by no means cut so large a 
figure with his contemporaries as he does with us. Luke has 
the love of the disciple for his master in the case of Paul, but 
he does not mar the history because of this attachment. 
"Finally, S. Luke has demonstrated his artistic skill by welding 
this complex variety of persons and places, times and seasons, 
characters and circumstances, into one whole a whole in 
which no tendency or side-issue dominates: and a whole so 
complete that we entirely forget the variety, we are uncon 
scious of the author and his method." 2 We are swept on with 
the onward march of Christianity from Jerusalem to Rome. 
We see the greatest of all revolutions transforming Peter and 
Paul from Jewish pride of privilege to world evangelization 
and Christian freedom in Christ. 

4. Sympathy with Sinners. We judge the sympathies of 
Luke by his choice of material. The Christ of Luke is the 
friend of sinners. A physician is brought into close contact 
with the outcasts of society, those who are "down and out." 
In a pre-eminent sense Luke pictures Christ as the friend and 
saviour of sinners. The matchless parables in Luke 15 (the 
Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin, the Lost Son) are told by Christ, as 
Luke explains (15 : 1 f.), because, when "all the publicans and 

i Acts of the Apostles, p. 119. l Rackham, Acts, p. xlvii. 


sinners were drawing near unto him to hear him, 5 "both the 
Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying, This man receiv- 
eth sinners, and eateth with them." The charge was true, 
gloriously true as we see, as Luke saw, but as the ecclesiastics 
of the time did not see. "S. Luke s Gospel is a Gospel of sac 
rifice and a Gospel for sinners. It contains the word sinners 
more often than all the other three put together." l In Luke 
7 : 37 the woman that was a notorious sinner anoints our 
Lord, but Luke does not identify her with Mary Magdalene 
in 8 : 2 or with Mary of Bethany. That is a gratuitous insult 
that mediaeval theologians and painters have cast upon these 
two noble women. But Jesus did forgive the sinful woman 
who showed more love for Christ than his host, the proud 
Pharisee (7 : 47). Luke rejoices in the courage of Jesus, as in 
the case of Zacchseus (19:2-10): "The Son of Man came to 
seek and to save that which was lost." Luke s Christianity 
is for the bad as well as for the good, to cure sin as well as 
sickness. Glover 2 quotes the German Jew Borne as saying: 
"Christianity is the religion of all poor devils." 

5. Sympathy with the Poor. So pronounced is the sympathy 
of Luke with the poor that his Gospel has actually been charged 
with Ebionitism and with class prejudice, with the modern 
"Soviet" conception of class domination, the poor ruling the 
rich. That is not true at all. Luke is interested in the rich 
(19 : 2; 23 : 50), but he champions the poor because they needed 
a friend (1 : 53; 2 : 7, 8, 24; 4 : 18; 6 : 20, 21; 7 : 22; 14 : 13, 22; 
16:20, 23). Luke reports the special form of communism 
among the early disciples in Jerusalem (Acts 4 and 5), but he 
would not be a modern syndicalist, certainly not a Marxian 
Socialist, or a Bolshevist. The physician sees the need and 
hears the cry of the poor. "The physician who works only 
for fat fees and who goes only when summoned by the well- 
to-do may make his fortune, but he will miss his greatest pro 
fessional opportunity in the service to the poor." 3 Luke records 
Jesus as saying at Nazareth that the spirit of the Lord had 
"anointed me to preach good tidings to the poor" (4:18). 
Luke has simply "Blessed are ye poor" in 6 : 20. In the story 
of Lazarus and the wicked Rich Man the beggar comes out 

1 Carpenter, op, tit., p. 219. 

2 Nature and Purpose of a Christian Society, p. 34. 
* Hayes, op. cit., p. 237. 


ahead in the end (16 : 19-31). No fiercer indictment of a rich 
fool was ever drawn than in the parable of Jesus recorded by 
Luke in 12:16-21. Luke represents Christ as inviting "the 
poor and maimed and blind and lame" to the supper in the 
parable (14 : 21). One of the amazing things about Jesus was 
his interest in the poor. This great fact was reported to John 
the Baptist as proof that Jesus was the Messiah (7 : 22). 

Certainly, then, Luke believed in the dignity of man. Luke 
wrote the gospel for the poor that Burns sang. "S. Luke s 
conception of the Church was that it was a body in which the 
poor and needy for the first time had a fair and equal chance." l 
We need not ask whether Luke wished to abolish slavery, 
though he may have once been a slave himself, as we have 
seen. Professor Gilbert Murray 2 thinks that what made 
Christianity conquer in the Roman Empire was "its intense 
feeling of brotherhood within its own bounds, its incessant care 
for the poor." We see that in I Cor. 1 : 26-31, where Paul 
glories in the choice of the poor by God to confound the rich 
and the mighty. Christ calls the men from the bottom up. 
That is his crown of glory. There is no doubt about Lute 
being a democrat. He traces the babe in the manger in Beth 
lehem to the ascension on Olivet. Luke was a democrat who 
was striving for a spiritual aristocracy, not of money, not of 
blood, not of privilege, not of power, but of character, the 
brotherhood of the cross of Christ, that is still the hope of the 
world, the salt of the earth. Luke does not teach that it is a 
virtue to be poor, but a poor man is, after all, a man, a man 
worth saving, a man who may be rich toward God, and who 
may enrich man by the noblest qualities of manhood and 
service. "Even when Christianity had risen from the work 
shop and the cottage to the palace and the schools of learning, 
it did not desert the workshop and the cottage. The living 
roots of Christianity remained in their native soil and in the 
lower ranks of society." 3 

6. Understanding Women. Christ made an appeal to 
women, who early formed a band to help support him and his 
disciples (Luke 8: 1-3). The rabbis in their liturgy thanked 
God that they were not born women. But Jesus is the eman- 

1 Carpenter, op. cit., p. 204. 

2 Four Stages of Greek Religion, p. 180. 

3 Deissmann, Light from the Ancient East, p. 404. 


cipator of women. Luke sees this truth and emphasizes it. 
One of the traditions l about Jesus is that once when asked 
"When shall the kingdom come?" he replied: "When the 
two shall be one, and that which is without as that which is 
within, and the male with the female, neither male nor female." 
One may think what he will of the logion, but Paul in Gal. 3 : 28 
says that in Christ "there is neither male nor female." To 
the women of Palestine Jesus appeared as their sole champion 
and hope because he treated them as personalities on a par 
with men. "Mithraism, the most popular of the heathen 
religions, was, like Islam, a religion for men only." 2 The 
humanity of Christ is deeper than sex. Christianity made 
great headway in the first century, partly because of its pow 
erful appeal to women. 

Luke was a physician and was brought into close contact 
with women and their problems. He also lived in Philippi for 
some years, where women had unusual privileges and oppor 
tunities, Macedonia being in this respect far ahead of Achaia 
or Asia. Luke knew how both Gentile and Jew looked down 
on women. He saw the difference in Jesus. So we have 
sketches of Elizabeth and Mary the mother of Jesus, the 
prophetess Anna and the widow of Nain, the sinful woman in 
the house of Simon and the woman with an issue of blood, 
Mary Magdalene and the others of her band, Mary and Martha 
of Bethany, the widow with the two mites and the daughters 
of Jerusalem, the women at the tomb, Dorcas and Mary the 
mother of John Mark, Sapphira and Priscilla, Drusilla and 
Bernice, Lydia and Damaris. Luke wrote the gospel of woman 
hood, full of sympathy and tenderness, full of understanding 
of their tasks and their service. Dante describes Luke as " the 
writer of the story of the gentleness of Christ." If women 
have understood Christ often better than men, it is in part 
due to Luke s representation of Christ s interest in women. 
Christ has enfranchised women in the true sense of spiritual 
privilege and prowess and service. They are entering into 
their heritage after centuries of indifference and hostility. 
But the women were last at the cross and first at the tomb. 
They have been loyal to Christ through the ages. 

7. In Touch with Children. The good physician loves chil 
dren and seeks to save the child from death and from disaster. 
1 Ps. Clem., xii. 2 Carpenter, op. cit., p. 217. 


The hope of the race is in the children. The real wealth of the 
world is in the children, who give promise of being better and 
of doing better than we have been and have done. Hayes 
observes that there is not a child in the Gospel of John, but 
that is not quite true, for Andrew tells Jesus of the lad with 
five barley loaves and two fishes (John 6:8f.). Mark and 
Matthew both tell of the little children that were brought to 
Jesus, but Luke notes that they were "babes" (Luke 18 : 15). 
Luke alone gives the raising of the son of the widow of Nain 
(Luke 7), and Luke notes that the epileptic boy was the 
father s "only son" (9:38). Luke tells us most about the 
birth and childhood of Jesus, and gives us the only glimpse 
that we have of the boy Jesus, with a boy s hunger for knowl 
edge and yearning for future service, this boy who already had 
the consciousness of peculiar relationship to God his Father, 
and yet who went back to Nazareth in obedience to Joseph 
and Mary to toil at the carpenter s bench for eighteen more 
years, till the voice of the Baptist should call him to the Jor 
dan. No one who did not love and understand children could 
have so graphically pictured the boyhood of Jesus in this one 
short paragraph. 

8. Spiritual Insight. Luke s Gospel makes a point of prayer 
in the life of Jesus. He gives the example of Jesus and the 
instruction of Jesus on the subject. The Synoptic Gospels all 
tell of Christ s praying in Gethsemane. Luke 1 does not men 
tion the praying of Jesus given in Mark 1 : 35 at Capernaum 
and in Matt. 19:23 (= Mark 6: 46) after feeding the five 
thousand. But Luke alone notes that Jesus prayed at the 
baptism of Jesus (3 : 21), on his first clash with the Pharisees 
over forgiving the paralytic (5 : 16), before choosing the Twelve 
Apostles (6 : 12), before the first prediction of his death (9 : 18), 
at the transfiguration (9 : 18), before teaching the model prayer 
(11 :!), on the cross (23 : 34, 46). Besides, as Plummer 2 fur 
ther points out, Luke alone mentions Christ s special prayer 
for Peter (22 : 31 f.), the special command to the disciples to 
pray while in Gethsemane (22 : 32, 40) . Luke alone gives the 
parables about persistence in prayer (11:5-13; 18:1-8) and 
the command to pray "at every season" (21 : 36). The para 
ble of the Pharisee and the publican shows the difference be 
tween real and perfunctory (and hypocritical) prayer 

1 Plummer, Cowm., p. xlv. 2 Ibid. 


(18 : 11-13). Plummets summary proves the point up to the 
hilt. Luke was himself a man of prayer, because of his interest 
in this aspect of Christ, who practised what he preached 
(11:9). "If the disciples of Jesus had learned to pray as 
their Master prayed, their victory would have been as sure 
and as continuous as his own." l 

Luke s Gospel is not only the Gospel of Prayer, but also the 
Gospel of Praise. Plummer 2 notes that it begins and ends 
with worship in the temple (1:9; 24 : 53). Luke alone gives 
the Greeting of Elizabeth (1 : 42-45), the Magnificat, or Song 
of Mary the Mother of Jesus (1 : 46-55), the Benedictw, or 
Song of Zacharias (1 : 68-79), the Gloria in Excelsis, or Song 
of the Angels (2 : 14), the Nunc Dimittis, or Song of Simeon 
(2:29-32). Luke is fond of the expression "glorifying God" 
(2 : 20; 5 : 25 f.; 7 : 16; 13 : 13; 17 : 15; 18 : 43), "praising God" 
(2:13, 20; 19:37; 24:53?; Acts 2:47; 3:8f.) and "blessing 
God" (1:64; 2:28; 24:53?). 

So also it is the Gospel of Joy. Rejoicing is mentioned by 
verb or substantive twenty-two times in the Gospel and the 
Acts. All through the Gospel and the Acts there rings the 
note of praise and joy. The hymns in Luke s Gospel have 
thrilled the heart of the world. The Magnificat "is the highest 
specimen of the subtle influence of the song of purity, so ex 
quisitely described by Browning. It is the Pippa Passes 
among the liturgies of the world." 3 

Luke is fond of the ministry of angels. They are common 
in the Gospel and in the Acts, where they are mentioned 
twenty-two times. "Here and there throughout the Gospel 
we hear echoes of angel songs and catch glimpses of angel 
wings." 4 To be sure, some would term this trait superstition 
and lack of the scientific and the historical spirit. But that is 
a superficial attitude toward the deepest problem of humanity. 
The nineteenth century saw a recrudescence of materialism 
under the influence of the evolution hypothesis. But this very 
hypothesis now knocks at the door of the unseen and refuses 
to be satisfied with the negation of Mill and Huxley and 
Spencer and Haeckel. Wistfully scientists of the twentieth 
century are looking over the brim of eternity, if haply they 

1 Hayes, op. tit., p. 259. 2 Comm., p. xlvi. 

8 Alexander, Leading Ideas of the Gospels, p. 1 14. 
4 Hayes, op. tit., p. 264. 


may catch echoes from the other side. The wall seems thin 
at times to those who have loved ones who have passed over 
to be with Jesus. 

Luke was a mystic, as every real Christian is. Scientist as 
he was, he had not lost his sense of wonder and awe in the 
presence of God and nature. He found in Christ the key to 
the mystery of life here and hereafter. Like McKenna (The 
Adventure of Death), another Christian physician of to-day 
who looked to Christ with a scientist s eyes from the trenches 
of France and Flanders, Luke saw in Christ the hope of the 
world. He gave himself with utter devotion to the task 
of recording the results of his years of research and of experi 
ence of Christ in his own life and in the lives of others. He 
wrote with whole-hearted consecration of his great gifts and 
with high standards before his eyes. He set his eyes upon 
Jesus, who alone makes life worth while. A man without 
spiritual insight has missed the meaning of his own life and 
the meaning of the world. Luke had the eyes of his mind 
opened (Luke 24:45) by the vision of Jesus which he saw. 
He saw Christ and he saw the world for which Christ died. 


Abraham 187 Ananias, the high priest 202, 221 

Achaia 28, 29, 175, 182, 195 Anna . 104, 238 

Acts of the Apostles: Importance Annas 234 

of , 1 ff ; author same as that of Antioch in Pisidia 21, 23, 128, 183, 

Gospel of Luke, 4 ff., 30, a com- 184, 187, 192, 195, 228, 229 

panion of Paul, 6 ff., a physician, Antioch in Syria ... 5, 13, 17, 20, 21, 22, 

9 ff 27 ff , 65 f., 90 ff., 131 ff., 23, 24, 56, 76, 86, 174 f., 183 

Luke. 13 ff., 30 f., 52, 55; Paul s Antony, Mark 167 

influence in, 29, 77, 80 ff.; date Apocryphal Gospels 45, 49, 142, 104 

of composition, 30 ff., 82; opti- Apollos 17, 24, 235 

mistic note of, 35, 36, 165; place Apostles, the Twelve 46, 49, 82, 98, 

of composition, 37, 38. 80; pic- 105, 110, 144, 172, 174 ff., 200, 223 

ture of Christ in, 38; historical Appian 121 

worth of, 39 ff., 46, 56, 77 f., 89; Aquila 13, 175, 235 

literary method of author, 43 ; Arabic Gospel of the Infancy 104 

chronological order of, 53, 54; Aramaic Document of Acts. 37, 84, 86 ff. 

character portraits in, 57, 234 f. ; Aramaic Sources of Luke ..7,9, 18, 57, 

versatility of author, 57 f. ; "we 107 

sections, 5, 7, 8, 14, 16, 25, 46, Archelaus (see Herod Archelaus). 

78 ff., 87, 134; sources oral and Aretaeus 9, 24, 94 

written, 48, 76 ff., 219 ff.; sup- Aristarchus . . 12, 13, 18, 26, 81, 83, 199, 

posed Aramaic Document of, 37, 210, 235 

77, 84, 86 ff. ; first century at- Asia 29, 182 

mosphere of, 78; personal expe- Asia Minor 40, 78, 124, 129, 179 f., 

riences of author, 78 ff., 228; un- 183, 187, 191 

fairly treated by critics, 77, 79; Asiarchs 188, 198 f. 

in relation to the Epistles of Paul, Assos 206 

82 f. ; first-hand reporters for, Athenseus 24 

83 ff. ; medical matters in, 98 ff ., Athenodorus 25 

133 ff. ; crowns Jesus king, 164 f. ; Athens. . 24, 25, 81, 184, 188, 197 f., 206, 

chronology with respect to 226,228,229 

Paul s visit to Jerusalem, 171 ff., Augustine 143, 148 

death of Herod Agrippa, 174 f., Augustus 119-124, 129, 157, 166 ff. 

expulsion of Jews from Rome, 

175, Gallio s proconsulship, Babylon 66 

175 f., coming of Festus, 176 ff. ; Bar-Jesus 234 

archaeological and geographical Barnabas 1,5, 21, 23, 24, 26, 83. 84, 

accuracy with reference to 174 f., 193, 234 

Roman provinces, 180 ff., ethno- Baur 27, 167, 227 

graphic terminology, 182 f., col- Bernice 204, 235, 238 

onies, 183 ff., Roman citizenship, Berosa 197, 198, 206, 228 

185 f ., local color, 186 ff . ; chapter Bethlehem of Galilee 120 

27 its value, 206 ff., its accu- Bethlehem of Judea 104, 106, 109. 

racy, 208 f., dominated by Paul s 118, 120. 125 

personality, 209 ff., its language, Bethsaida Julias 140 

211 ff., 213 ff.; report of speeches Bithynia 28, 29, 182 

of Peter, 220 ff . ; speech of Ste- Borghesi 128 

phen, 222 ff. ; speech of James, Briggs 76 

224 f . ; speeches of Paul, 225 ff . Broughton 109 

Adam 157 Bunyan 147 

JEgae 24 Burrhus 177 

^Emilius Secundus 128 

yEneas 100 Csesarea 22, 38, 39, 45, 47, 53, 75, 77, 

^Eneid 18 78, 80, 83, 84, 107, 113, 177 f., 181. 

/Eschylus 207 202 ff., 206, 228 

yEsculapius 24 Caiaphas 160, 234 

Africa 28 Cappadocia 182 

Agabus 174, 235 Caria 88 

Alexander, the procurator 174 Catiline 44 

Alexandria 24, 25, 28, 92, 222 Celcus 19 

Alford 34 Cenchreee 206 

Amphipolis 184 Census in Luke 118 ff. 

Ananias of Damascus 234 Cerinthian Gnosticism 116, 158 

Ananias of Jerusalem 99, 234 (see also 111) 




Cesnola 182 

China 96, 12O 

Chuza 65, 75 

Cicero 44, 217 

Cilicia 181, 182, 222 

Clauda 209 

Claudius 170, 174 ff. 

Claudius Lysias 185, 201, 230, 235 

Clemen 7, 8, 11, 76 

Clement of Alexandria. . . 14, 122 f., 147 

" Clementines" 21 

Cleophas 2O 

Codex Bezae 21, 25, 26, 83. 158 

Colossians, Epistle to the 38, 82 

Constantinople 56 

Corinth 27, 37, 81, 175 f., 177, 184, 

194 f., 226, 228 

I Corinthians 82 

II Corinthians 21, 82, 173 

Cornelius 84, 193, 221, 233, 235 

Credner 7 

Crescens 13, 29 

Crete 182, 210, 222 

Crispus 194 

Cuspius Fadus 170 

Cyprus 25, 49, 182, 206 

Cyrene 25. 182 

Dalmatia 28 

Damaris 238 

Dante 238 

Darwin 154 

David 156 

Delphi 175 f. 

Demas 13, 18, 29, 83 

Demetrius 120, 188, 199. 235 

Demosthenes 51. 217 

Derbe 183 

De Rossi 128 

De Wette 6, 7 

Diana, worship of 120, 188, 199 

Dio Cassius 217 

Dion of Prusa 90 

Dionysius 198 

Dioscorides. . .9, 24, 42, 96, 99, 100. 101 

Docetics 112 

Domitian 29, 34 

Dorcas 235 

Drusilla 235, 238 

Ebionitism 236 (see also 111) 

Ebrard 34 

Ecclesiastes 49 

Eckert 167 

Egypt. . .70. 123, 124, 125, 126. 129, 182 

Einstein 115 

Elizabeth. . .58, 103, 104, 108, 109, 157, 


Elymas 100 

Emmaus 58 

Emperor worship 188, 197 ff. 

Enoch, Book of 162 f. 

Epaphras 18, 83 

Ephesians, Epistle to the 38, 82 

Ephesus . . .35, 37, 81, 98, 177. 184. 188, 
198 f., 206 

Epicureans 188. 197, 229 

Erasistratus 92 

Erastus 83. 235 

Eudoxia 57 

Euthalius 22 

Eutychus 101, 135 

Ezekiel 163 

Ezra ,,,,,,,,,,.,. 50 

Fair Havens 210, 213 

Famine in Judea 174 f. 

Farrar 34 

Felix. . . 177 f., 181, 186, 196, 202 f., 204, 
228, 235 

Festus . . .176ff., 181, 186, 195, 203 f.. 
228, 230, 235 

Figgis 85 

Foster 143 

Gabriel ... . . 104, 112, 117, 156 f. 

Gadera 139 f. 

Gaderene demoniac 94, 139 

Gaius 83, 188, 199 

Galatia 13, 26, 27, 128, 182, 183, 228 

Galatians, Epistle to the 82, 229 

Galen. . .9, 10, 90, 92, 93, 95, 96, 97, 100, 
101, 131, 154 

Galilee 95, 140, 181, 200 

Galileo 115 

Gallia 28 

Gallio. . . 19, 20, 175 f., 182, 194 f., 202, 
232, 235 

Gamaliel 32, 170, 200, 232, 234 

Gardthausen 118 

Gerasa 139 f. 

GfSrer 167 

Gladstone 139, 155 

Gloag 34 

Gnostic controversy 81 

God the Father. . 112, 114, 115, 117, 130, 
132 f., 136, 137, 138 f., 157 ff., 196, 211 

Goethe 136 

Greece 66 

Greek law 190 ff. 

Greek manuscripts 160, 172 

Gregory Nazianzen 29 

Grenfell 29, 142 

Hadrian f. 193 

Haeckel 240 

Harvey 92 

Hausrath 7 

Hebrews, Epistle to the 24 

Hebrews, Gospel according to .... 69 

Herod Agrippa I. .32, 99, 174 f.. 177, 

178, 181, 235 

Herod Agrippa II ... 178, 186, 200, 204, 
228, 230, 235 

Herod Antipas 65, 75, 109, 181 

Herod Archelaus 109, 124, 147, 181 

Herod Philip 181 

Herod the Great 109, 121, 123. 124, 

126, 128, 181, 207 

Herodotus 18, 42, 86, 217 f., 219 

Herophilus 92 

Hilgenfeld 7, 167 

Hippocrates 9, 10, 42, 91, 93, 96, 

97, 98, 101, 131, 154 

Hofmann 18 

Holtzmann 167 

Holy Spirit, the. . .81, 85, 86, 104, 111, 

112, 113, 115, 134, 144, 156 f., 158, 

164 f. 

Horace 5 

Hume . 136 

Huxley 136, 139, 140, 240 

Hyslop 136 

Iconium 183, 193 

India 120 

Inscriptions 17, 128, 157. 168, 175 f. 

182, 187, 188, 193, 199 
Irenseus 14, 29, 50 




Italy 28,175 

Iturea 181 

Jacob 187 

Jairus s daughter 94 

James, son of Zebedee. . .26 ff., 35, 82, 
172, 174, 181, 200, 220, 224, 234 

James, the Epistle of 225 

James, the Lord s brother 49, 75 f., 

84, 234 

Jason 196 

Jerusalem 25, 28, 34, 35, 37, 49, 53, 

57, 74, 76, 78, 80 ff., 86, 98, 141, 149, 
162, 171 ff., 176 f., 200 f., 228 
Jerusalem conference. . . .81, 82, 172 f., 
176, 221, 224 f. 

Jesus Christ: Virgin Birth, 103 ff.; 
place of birth, 120, 125; date of 
birth, 124; loneliness, 60; sin- 
lessness, 117; transfiguration, 
149, 160; stay in the tomb, 168 f. ; 
resurrection, 36, 85, 86, 113, 134, 
140, 149, 153; ascension, 136, 
149; as seen and loved by Luke, 
29, 38, 54, 57, 59, 92, 93, 95 ff., 
110, 133, 137 f., 141. 155 ff., 241; 
as pictured by Logia, Mark, 
Matthew, Luke, Paul, and John 
the same, 72, 155; as seen by 
Paul, 81, 85; as seen by Stephen, 
233; the Jesus or Christ contro 
versy, 153 ff . ; Son of God, 155 ff . ; 
Son of Man, 161 ff.; Saviour of 

Keil 34 

Keim 167 

Khersa 139 

Kingdom of God. . .81, 95, 144, 146, 149 

Knopf 7 

Koetsweld 149 

Koin6 . .5, 17, 18, 36, 42, 58, 61, 144, 183 

Lange 34 

Livy 217 

Loeb 115 

Logia (Q) . .39. 44, 45, 46, 58, 69 ff., 77, 
110, 116, 118, 135 f., 153, 155 

Lucan 19 

Lucanus 20 

Lucian 11, 90, 91, 207 

Luke: His name, 16 ff.; a Gentile, 
probably a Greek, 18 f., 180 f.; a 
possible freedman, 19 f . ; possibly 
a brother of Titus, 20 f . ; birth 
place, 21 ff.; education, 23 ff.; 
conversion, 25 ff. : medical mis 
sionary, 27 ff . ; Paul s companion, 
friend, and admirer, 1, 6ff., 29, 39, 
46, 78 ff., 83, 209 ff., 235; physi 
cian, 9ff., 13, 24, 27 ff., 65 f., 85, 
90 ff.. 102, 104, 106. 109. 131 ff.. 
231, 236, 241: traditions as to 
death, 29; personality, 56 ff.; in 
terest in the supernatural, 52, 85, 
103 ff., 130 ff., 240: interest in 
eschatology, 149; cosmopolitan, 
46, 155, 232 ff. ; friend of women, 

65 f., 75, 108, 111, 237 f.; interest 

sinners, 163f.; great humani- in children, 238 f.: sympathy 

tarian, 163 ; Captain of our sal- with sinners, 235 f . ; sympathy 

vation, 164 f.: Lord of all, 137, with poor, 236 f.; spiritual in- 

138 f., 140 f.; most tremendous sight, 239 ff.; understanding of 

fact in history, 116, 133; his and consecration to Jesus Christ, 

miracles, 96, 130 ff., 135 ff.; the 60, 92, 241; faces the Jesus or 

Great Physician, 28, 92, 93, 95 ff., Christ controversy, 153 ff.; his 

133, 137 f., 141; his parables picture of Christ not theological 

their beauty, 142 f., reason for but historic, 155; his conception 

using, 143 f., meaning of, 145 ff., of Jesus as Son of God, 155 ff.. 

interpretation of, 148; his lit- Son of Man, 161 ff.. Saviour of 

erary style, 60 sinners, 163 f., Captain of our 

Jesus Justus 18 salvation, 164 f. ; interest in Jesus 

Jewish law 49, 190 ff., 200 f. the Physician, 92, 93, 95 ff., 133, 

Jews 49, 111, 121, 124, 127, 158, 175 137 f., 141; knowledge of first- 
Joanna 65, 75, 109 century details, 31 ; contempo- 

John, Gospel of 74, 90, 105, 112, rary of events, 46 ff.; literary 

115, 134, 155 f., 158, 160 man, 18, 23 ff., 42{ff., 58, 142 f., 

John, the Apostle 82, 105, 134, 172, 150 f., 211 ff.; man of science, 

232, 234 130 ff . : appreciation of music and 

John the Baptist. .51, 66. 103, 107, 112, poetry, 58. 240: understanding of 

135 f., 158, 166 ff., 239 Roman law, 190 ff., of nautical 

Jonah 211 matters, 206 ff. ; reveals own 

Joppa 83 personality, 56 ff., 62; portrait- 
Joseph, husband of Mary. . .30, 31, 32, painter, 56 ff,. 234 f.; master of 
65, 103, 108, 109, 110 f., 112, 120, 125, style, 57 ff., 68; Hebraisms in 
126 f., 158, 162 writings, 64; at work as a his- 

Joseph, son of Jacob 187 torian, 50 ff. : versatility, 57 f., 

Judaism.. 25, 26, 104, 182, 194 f., 205, 231 f.; author of Gospel and 

224 Acts, 4 ff . ; date of writing Acts. 

Judaizing controversy 81, 140, 171, 31 ff.; use of oral and written 

224 f. sources, 76 ff . ; consultations with 

Judas Barsabbas 234 Paul, 80 ff. ; use of Paul s Epis- 

Judas Iscariot 69,220 ties, 82 f.; other first-hand re- 
Judas Maccabeus 61 porters, 83 ff. ; use of Josephus, 

Judas of Damascus 234 31 ff.; date of writing Gospel, 

Judas the Galilean 32,127,169 37 ff.; stimulated by work of 

Judea, 39, 47, 55,{95, 124, 174 f.. 181. 182 others, 44 ff . ; interest in full life 

Julia Augusta 168 of Jesus, 45, 47 f.; method and 

Julius, the centurion 210, 233, 235 object, 42 ff., 50 ff., 63, 66; order- 

Jtingst 29, 76 liness, 53 f.; use of early docu- 



Luke Continued 

ments for Gospel, 44 f., 49 f., 
63 fl., 66 ff., 60 flf., 72 ft. , use 
of oral testimony for Gospel, 
48 flf., 74; assimilation of sources, 
61 flf.; account of the Virgin 
Birth vital to his history, 
103 flf., believed by himself, 
106 flf., based on reliable evi 
dence, 108 flf., why given, 110 flf.; 
account of the miracles of Jesus, 
130 flf., 135; eyewitness of the 
miracles of Paul, 133 flf.; his ac 
curacy in general, 46 flf., 50 fl., 
55 f., 64, concerning the cen 
sus of Luke 2 : 1 ff., 120 ff., in 
chronology, 166 ff., in archae 
ological and geographical details, 
179 ff., in the narrative of Acts 
27, 208 f . ; historical worth of 
Lukan writings, 39 ff., 46; their 
importance, 1 ff. 

Luke, Gospel of: Importance of. 
Iff.; identity of author, 4ff.. 
6 ff., 9 ff., 12 ff., 30, 31, 52; cul> 
ture of author, 18 ff., 23 ff., 
42 ff., 21 Iff.; Pauline influence 
in, 29, 74, 81 ; date of, 30 f., 33 f., 
37 ff. ; climax of, 36; prologue, 38, 
42 ff.; historical worth, 39 ff.; 
author s method and object, 
42 ff., 44 f., 50 ff., 63, 66; literary 
beauty, 43, 62; orderly arrange 
ment of material, 53 f . ; com 
pleteness and charm, 43, 54; 
bears stamp of author s person 
ality, 56 f., 62; pen portraits, 
67 ff., 234 f.; poetry in, 58, 240; 
sources written documents, in 
general, 44 ff., 49 ff., 61 ff., 
72 ff.; oral testimony, 48 f., 50, 
61, 72 ff.; sources assimilated, 
61 ff . ; Semitic sources, 63 ff . ; 
Mark as a source, 38 f., 66 ff.; 
Matthew as a source, 70; Logia 
as a source, 69 ff.; Great In 
terpolation, 68, 73; one author, 
78; medical terms used, 90 ff.; 
changes from Mark s account, 
92 ff . ; items of medical interest 
peculiar to Luke, 95 ff . ; account 
of birth of Jesus vital to Luke s 
history, 103 ff., author s belief in 
it, 106 ff., based on reliable evi 
dence, 108 ff., why told, 110 ff.. 
credible to-day, 113ff., most 
satisfactory explanation of 
Christ, 116 f.; account of census 
crucial, 118f., two Bethle- 
hems, 120, "the whole world," 
120; the account trustworthy 
as to date, 121 ff., as to enrol 
ment by households, 124 ff., as 
to Quirinius, 127 ff. ; account of 
miracles miracles in Q and 
Mark, 135 ff., in Luke alone, 

137 f.; miracles over nature, 

138 ff. ; account of parables 
their beauty, 142 f., why Christ 
used them, 142 ff., their mean 
ing, 145 ff., their interpretation, 
148 f., Luke s special contribu 
tion, 149 ff. ; picture of Jesus as 
Son of God, 155 ff., as Son of 
Man, 161 ff., as Saviour of sin 

ners, 163 f., as Captain of our 
salvation, 164 f., as the Great 
Physician. 93, 95 ff., 137 f.; 
nearest approach to a biography, 
54; chronology in the matter of 
beginning of John s ministry, 
166 ff., length of Christ s stay in 
the tomb, 168 f., Theudas, 
169 ff. ; gospel of human sym 
pathy, 233 f., 235 ff.; gospel of 
sacrifice, 57, 236; gospel of joy 
and praise, 165, 240; emphasis 
on prayer, 239 f. 

Lumby 34 

Lycaonia 183 

Lycia 182 

Lycius of Gyrene 83 

Lydda 83 

Lydia 238 

Lysanias 32, 166, 167, 168 

Lysias 217 

Lystra 100, 183, 184, 187, 193 f., 

228, 229 

I Maccabees 61 

II Maccabees 222 

Macedonia. . .27, 28, 111, 177, 182, 184, 

188, 206 

Maclaren 56 

Maecenas 5 

Malalas 121 

Malchus 94, 96, 97, 131 

Malta. .9, 10, 18, 27, 101, 187, 209, 211 

Manaen 75, 83, 220 

Marcion 26, 30, 64 

Mark, Gospel of. .3, 10, 12. 33, 38 f.. 

45 f., 53, 66 ff., 70 ff., 72, 73, 74, 75. 

77, 87, 90, 112. 116, 118.J120, 134, 

136, 150, 153, 175 

Mark, John 13, 18, 26, 29, 49. 83 f., 

106, 220, 234 

Martha 59, 238 

Mary Magdalene 236 

Mary, mother of Jesus. .49, 57 ff., 64 ff., 

103 ff., 116 f., 120, 125 ff., 151, 156 ff., 

161 f., 238 

Mary, mother of Mark 49, 238 

Mary, of Bethany 59, 236, 238 

Matthew 105, 135 

Matthew, Gospel of. .33, 39, 45, 53, 62. 

65, 66 ff., 69 ff., 90, 105 f., 108, 110 ff., 

115f., 120, 150, 155 

Meyer 104 

Miletus 226, 228 

Mill 240 

Mithraism 194 

Mnason 49, 83 

Mommsen 118, 128 

Muratorian Canon 14, 25 

Mythology 114, 187 

Nathan 156 

Nazareth 95, 109, 120. 125 

Neapolis 206 

Nero 29.204 

New Testament. .49, 51, 56, 58, 77, 86, 
96, 97, 99, 100, 101, 105, 115, 147, 190 

Newton 115 

Nicolas 22 

Nicolaus of Damascus 121 

Nicoll 142 

Old Testament, 34, 62/69, 114, 143, 156 

Onesiphorus 29 

Oosterzee 34, 233 



Origen 12, 21, 147 

Osier 92 

Overbeck 7, 8 

Ovid 187 

Palestine. .26, 47, 54, 77, 107, 108, 121, 
122, 124, 126, 174, 181, 187, 202 ff. 

Pamphylia 182 

Papias 53, 69, 75 

Papyri. .5, 17, 43, 50, 69, 88, 122, 123 f., 
129, 157, 158, 188 

Parthia 120 

Paul: Luke s subject and hero, 1, 
29, 46, 209 ff., 235; world of, 2; 
possible schoolmate of The- 
ophilus, 5; and the author of 
Acts, 6ff., 9ff., 12 ff., 27 ff., 
78 ff.; freeborn, 20; at Antioch 
in Syria, 2; meeting Luke, 23, 
27; at Tarsus, 24 f.; agent in 
Luke s conversion, 25 ff.; pris 
oner and martyr, 29, 35 f., 39; 
conversion, 100; and contribu 
tion for the poor, 174 f. ; knowl 
edge of the life of Christ, 74, 85, 
112f.; Luke s informant, 80 ff., 
84; on Malta, 101 f.; miracles 
of, 101 f., 133 ff.; at Corinth, 
175 f., 194 f. ; his Roman citizen 
ship, 185 f., 201; on side of law 
and order, 191; at Antioch in 
Pisidia, 192 f.; at Philippi, 191; 
at Lystra, 193 f . ; at Thessa- 
lonica, 195 ff.; at Athens, 197 f.; 
at Ephesus, 198 f . ; and Jewish 
law, 200 f. ; and Jewish mob, 
200 f . ; before Roman officials in 
Palestine, 202 ff . ; a sea traveller, 
206 ff . ; his personality dominant 
in Acts 27, 209 ff . ; and Stephen, 
223 f.; his speeches, 48, 225 ff. 
(see also 30, 32, 38, 47, 49, 73, 
74, 76, 81, 98, 101, 120, 140, 165) 
Paul, Epistles of. . 1, 3, 8, 12, 16, 18, 29, 
30 f., 38, 76, 77, 82, 134, 176, 219, 221, 
226 f. 

Pella 37 

Pentecost. .84, 85, 86, 134, 149, 164, 220 

Pergamos 92 

Perfcles 217 

" Period oi of Barnabas" 207 

Peter. .1, 29, 30, 35, 39, 46, 48, 53, 76, 
84, 86, 97, 134, 140, 172, 174, 181, 
200, 220 ff., 223 f., 234 f. 

I Peter 35,221 

II Peter 221 

Pharisees, the . 143 f., 145, 146, 148, 159, 

200, 223, 233 

Philemon, Epistle to 38, 82, 204 

Philip, the disciple 21 

Philip, the evangelist. .49, 75, 84, 86, 

220, 222, 234 

Philippi .. 19, 22, 23, 27, 78, 80, 178, 
183 f., 186, 187 f., 192, 206, 228 

Philistia 84 

Philo 36, 112, 147, 222 

Phoenicia 181, 182 

Phoenix 210, 213 

Phyrigia 183 

Pilate 75, 181, 195, 196, 202 

Pisidia 183 

Plato 58, 131 

Pliny... 77,205 

Plutarch 5, 30, 50, 57, 60, 135, 195 

Polybius 5, 42, 51, 217 

Pontus 182 

"Praefatio Lucee" 22, 26, 28 

Priscilla 13, 17, 175, 235, 238 

Protevangelium of James 104 

Pseudo-Matthew 104 

Ptolemais 184 

Publius 10, 101, 102, 135, 187 

Puteoli 184 

Quirinius 118, 120, 123, 127 ff., 

166 f., 169 f. 

Renan 4, 22 

Rendall 34 

Resch 34 

Roman citizenship 185 f., 201 

Roman colonies 183 ff., 192 ff. 

Roman Empire. .30, 76, 77 f., 120, 121, 
122, 123, 165, 181, 183, 190 ff. 

Roman law 190 ff. 

Roman provinces 180 ff. 

Romans, Epistle to the 82, 173 

Rome. .19, 22, 25, 28, 29, 34, 35, 36, 37, 

38, 39, 67, 71, 78, 80, 81, 82, 84, 120, 

121, 123. 175, 184, 207, 228 

Sadducees 200, 223, 233 

Saint Cyril 98 

Sallust 218, 219 

Samaria 84, 174, 181, 200 

Sanhedrin 160, 200 f., 221 

Sapphira 221, 234, 238 

Savonarola 34 

Schaff 34 

Schiller 116 

Scholten 6 

Sea of Adria 213 

Sea of Galilee 140 

Secundus 188 

Selucia 206 

Seneca 19, 20, 25, 195 

Sentius Saterninus 129 

Septuagint. .32, 63, 64, 72, 88, 96, 100, 
157, 232 

Sergius Paulus 182, 235 

Servilius 128 

Shechem 187 

Silas 13, 17, 19, 26, 27, 81, 83, 135, 

186, 196 f., 221, 234 
Silvanus (see Silas) 

Simeon 58, 144, 157 f. 

Simon Magus 234 

Sinaitic Syriac Ill, 115, 126 

Socrates 197 

Sopater 83 

Sorof 76 

Sosipater 188 

Sosthenes 194 f. 

Spencer 240 

Spitta 7,76 

Stephen. . .29, 35, 187, 200, 222 ff., 235 

Stoics 112, 188, 197 f., 229 

Strabo 24, 25, 121, 179 

Strauss 167 

Syltems 121 

Synoptic Gospels. . .62 f., 112, 144, 158, 


Syracuse 184 

Syria. . . 118, 122, 124, 128, 129, 181, 182 
Syrtis 213 

Tacitus 217 ff. 

Talmud 109, 143, 222 

Tarsus 18, 24 f., 27, 184, 185 

Tertullus 190, 202, 230, 235 



"Testimonia" 62, 69 

Theodora Lector 56 

Theophilus. .4f., 8, 12, 2O, 21. 24, 25, 


Theophylact 20 

I Thessalonians 82, 176 

II Thessalonians 82, 176 

Thessalonica. .81, 120, 184, 188, 195 ff.. 

198, 228 

Theudas 32, 169 ff., 178 

Tholuck 34 

Thomas, Gospel of 104 

Thucydides, 4, 18, 32, 39, 42, 217 f., 227 

Tiberius 33, 123, 166 f. 

Tiele 18 

Timothy. . .7, 13, 26, 27, 29, 81, 83, 194, 


I Timothy 29 

Titus 12 f., 20 f., 22, 29, 81, 83, 171 

Titus, Flavius S. V 33 f., 167 

Titus Justus 13 

Trachonitis 167, 181 

Trajan 77, 205 

Troas 13, 23, 78, 80, 184, 206 

Trophimus 13, 83, 200, 235 

Ttibingen school 1, 40, 191 

Tychicus 83 

Tyndale 47 

Varus 129 

Vespasian 123 

Vibius Maximus 125 

Virgil 63 

Vulgate 51 

Warfield . 134 

Wellhausen 63, 97 

Wells 163 

Wendt 7, 70 

Westcott 49 

Whitsitt 131 

Widow of Nain 96, 137 f., 238 

Wieseler 34 

Wittichen 18 

Xenophon 80, 179, 217 

Zacchaeus 59 

Zacharias 58, 59, 64, 103 f. 

Zenos 190 


Abbott, " The Son of Man" 162 

Abbott-Smith, "Manual Lexicon 
of the Greek N. T." 43 

"^Egyptische Urkunden aus den 
Koeniglichen Museen zu Ber 
lin," 43 (see Index of Scripture 
and Papyri) 

Alexander, "Leading Ideas of the 
Gospels" 240 

Allen, "Oxford Studies in the Sy 
noptic Problem " 64, 71 

Angus, "Int. St. B. Encycl." 
(" Roman Empire") 205 

Aristotle, "Rhetoric," 99 (see also 
92, 131) 

Arnold, "Literature and Dogma" 105 

Bacon, "American Journal of The 
ology," 89 (see also 219) 

Ball, " God and Our Soldiers " 115 

, "St. Paul and the Roman 

Law" (1901) 191 

Balmer, "Die Romfahrt des Apo- 

stels Paulus" (1905) 208 

Barrett, " On the Threshold of the 

Unseen" 116 

Bartlet, "Apostolic Age" 36, 172 

, "Oxford Studies in the Sy 
noptic Problem" ... .64, 71, 72 

, " Standard Bible Dictionary" 

("Acts") 36 

Baur, "Paul," 1 (see also 2, 7, 227) 
Bebb, Hastings "D. B." ("Luke 

the Evangelist") 25, 67 

Belser, "Theol. Quartalschrift, 

Ttibingen " (1895-1896) 32 

Bethge, " Die paulinischen Reden" 

225, 226 

"Biblical Review" 42, 118 

Bigg, "Commentary" 221 

Biggs, " St. Peter and Jude" 200 

Birt, "Die Burchrolle in der 

Kunst" 63 

Blass, " Acta Apostolorum" 21, 79, 220 

, "Die Rhythmen der asia- 

nischen und rOmischen 

Kunstprosa" 58 

, " Philosophy of the Gospels " . . 21, 

30, 34, 35, 42 f., 44, 47, 49, 50, 
51, 53, 55. 87 

Boeckh, "Corp. Inscr. Gr." 168 

Box, " The Virgin Birth of Jesus ". . 105 
Breusing, "Die Nautik der Alten" 

(1886) 208 

Broadus, "Commentary on Mat 
thew" 148 

, "Harmony of the Gospels". .74, 

149, 168 

Bruce, "Apologetics" 117 

, "Expositor s Greek Testa 
ment" . . .44, 45, 47, 51, 52, 103 

, "Parabolic Teaching of 

Christ" 149 

Burkitt, "Gospel History and Its 

Transmission" 14, 32, 62 f. 

, "Journal of Theological 

Studies" 88, 89 

Burton, "American Journal of 

Theology" 188 

, " Some Principles of Literary 

Criticism and Their Ap 
plication to the Synoptic 

Problem" 73 

Buss, "Roman Law and History 
in the N. T." (1901) 191 

Cadbury, "The Style and Literary 
Method of Luke r (1919). . . .6, 11,91 

, "The Treatment of Sources 

in the Gospels" 68 

Carpenter, "Christianity Accord 
ing to S. Luke". . .4, 13, 23, 58 f., 60, 
68, 69, 70, 74, 75, 79, 81, 84, 85, 105, 
114, 115 f., 126, 132, 133, 140, 149, 
150 f., 167 f., 233 f., 236, 237, 238 
Chase, "The Credibility of the 
Book of the Acts of the Apos 
tles" . .4, 10, 11, 38, 39, 54, 76, 80, 227 
Chesterton, "Hibbert Journal". . . 233 

, " Orthodoxy" 60 

"Christian Worker s Magazine". . 130 
Chrysostom, "Horn, on Matt. 

64:3," 148 (see also 21, 180) 
Clemen, "Die Chronologic der 
paulin. Briefe" (1893), 32 (see 
also 7, 8, 76) 

, " Hibbert Journal" 11 

Cobern, "New Archaeological Dis 
coveries and Their Bearing on 
theN. T." 43 

Dalman, "The Words of Jesua" 64, 65 
Davidson, "Introduction to the 

New Testament," 8 (see also 


Deissmann, "Bible Studies" 43, 88, 157 
, "Light from the Ancient 

East" 43, 125 f., 237 

, "St. Paul" 175 

Didon, "Jesus Christ" 157 

Edmundson, "The Church in 

Rome During the First Century 39 
Emmet, "Commentary on Gala- 

tians" 172 

"Encycl. Biblica" 30, 120, 140 

Epiphanius, " Ag. Her." 51 

Erbes, Gebhardt and Harnack s 

" Texte und Untersuch" 177 

Eusebius, "Hist. Eccl.". .51, 53, 69 (see 

also 3, 21, 22, 23, 47, 177) 



Everitt, "St. Paul s Journey to 
Rome" (1904) ............ . 208 

"Expositor" (1920) ............. 153 

Ferguson, "Historical and Lin 
guistic Studies of University of 
Chicago" .................... 201 

Foakes- Jackson, "Harvard The 
ological Review " ............. 88 

Friedrich, " Das Lukas-Evangelium 
und die Apostelgeschichte Werke 
desselben Verfasser" (1890). . . 6 

Furneaux, " Commentary on Acts " 

26, 27, 34, 43, 170 

Gardner, "Cambridge Bible Es 

says".. 132, 134, 189, 217ff. f 225 

226, 227, 231, 232 
Garvie, Hastings s "One Vol 

D. B." .................... . 130 

Gilbert, "Jesus" ............ , , ,[ 138 

Glover, "Nature and Purpose of a 

Christian Society " ____ ....... 236 

- , "The Jesus of History" 151, 154 

- , The Meaning and Purpose 

of a Christian Society". . 
" " 



Goodspeed, "The Expositor. . 
"Greek Papyri in the British Mu 

seum," 43 (see Index of Scripture 

and Papyri) 
Grenfell and Hunt, "Amherst 

Papyri" ............. 

- , " Hibeh Papyri "..... . ! 

- , "Oxyrhynchus Papyri," 43, 

44 (see also Index of Scrip 
ture and Papyri) 

Grenfell and Hunt and Hogarth, 
"Fayum Towns and Their 
Papyri," 43 (see also Index of 
Scripture and Papyri) 
Grierson, Hastings s "One Vol 
D -B." ..................... / 107 

Harnack , " Chronologie der alt- 
christl. Litt." ............ 34 

- , " Luke the Physician " ."."3, 5. 7 

8, 10, 13, 14, 17, 18, 23. 24. 26, 
33, 49, 52, 55. 68, 75, 86, 90 f. 
92, 98, 101, 131 f., 138, 189 

- , Sayings of Jesus" ....... 70, 71 

- , The Acts of the Apostles " 8. 10 

14 34, 40, 81, 82, 83, 85, 178 
180, 205, 234, 235 

- , "The Date of the Acts and 

the Synoptic Gospels "..8, 12 
14, 35, 37 f., 39, 40, 65 f., 70 f. 
79, 104 f., 106, 107,114 
Hams, " The Expositor " ...... 62 

Hase, " Geschichte Jesu" . . 16O 

Hasluck, "Journal of Hellenic 
Studies" (1912) ......... 17 

Hastings "Dictionary of the 
Apostolic Church". .14, 18, 31 32 
33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 72, 76, 80 f. 82 

207 f "214 87> 178 183> 18 * 190 200, 

- ."Dictionary of the Bible "..25, 

30 36 f., 67, 76, 124, 142, 147 
150, 174. 175, 180, 188,222 

- , Dictionary of Christ and 

the Gospels " ......... 146 147 

- , "One Volume Dictionary of 

. the Bible "....35, 107, 130, 185 
Hawkins, " The Expositor " ...... 74 

, "Horae Synopticae" (1911) 3 7 
, "Oxford 


of Acts ".. 5, 20 21 24 


Headlam, Hastings s "D B" 
("Acts") ...... 30, 36 f., 76, 180 222 

^SSST* Journal Supplement for 

1909 ......... 1 | A i cr: 

Hicks, "Traces of Gre^k" Philos 
ophy and Roman Law in the 
-N. T. (1896) ....... 191 

Hobart, The Medical Language of 


(see also 167) 
Homan, "Luke the Greek Phy 

sician" ...... 01 f -lot 

" Homiletic Review " . . . . . . . . . . . 217 
"Int. St. Bible Encycl.". .in, 131,205 

Jerome, "Commentary on Isaiah" 91 

- , "De Viris Illustribus," 22 (see 

Jones. "St. Paul ?&?: ? 
225, 226, 227 f., 229, 230 

- , "The Expositor". .173, 176, 178, 


- , " The N. T in the Twentieth 

Josephus, "Antiquities "..32, 61, 121 
124, 127, 167, 169 flf 

- , Jewish War" ..... . . .32, 174 f. 

- , Vita ........ 206 

Julicher, " Die Gleichnisreden Jesu " 147 

- . "Einleitung" ......... 39 

- , "Introduction to the New 

Testament " ............ 2 

Kenyon, " Classical Review ". 123 
Klostermann, "Handbuch zum 

-N. T ................. gg 

, " Vindicae Lucanae " (1866) . . 7 
Knowlmg " Acts" ........ 99, 187, 210 

Krenkel. Josephus und Lukas" 

(1894) ....................... 32 

Lake, "Earlier Epistles of St 
Paul . ... 170 IQC 

- , " The Expositor " ! . * {27 

- , Hastings s " Dict.of the Aposl 

tolic Church" ("Acts of 
the Apostles"). .14, 31, 32, 34, 
35 f.. 37, 76, 80 f., 82, 83 f., 86. 
87. 171 

- , Hastings s " Dict.of the Apos- 


Lightfoot, "Biblical Essays" 12 177 

- , "Commentary on Gala- 

tians" .................. 172 

- , C9mmentary on Philip- 

pians" 20 


, Essays on Supernatural 



.Smith s "D. B.""("Tne 
Acts") ................ 31 



Lock and Sanday, "Two Lectures 
on the Oxyrhynchus Sayings of 

Jesus" (1889) 69 

Lodge, " Life and Matter 105 

Loisy, " Hibbert Journal" 85 

, " Les Evangiles Synoptiques 

59, 125 

Loofs, "What Is the Truth about 
Jesus Christ? " ; 6 

Luckock, "The Special Character- 
istics of the Four Gospels 26, 57 

Lummis, " How Luke Was Written 75 

Machen, "Princeton Review . . . . 
Mackinlay, "A Difficulty Re 
moved" (1919) 168 

. "The Literary Marvels of St. 

Luke" (1919) 54 

Maclean, Hastings s "Diet, of the 
Apostolic Church" ("Roman 

Law in N T/ ) 190.200 

, Hastings s "One Vol D B." 

("Acts") 35 

, Hastings s "One Vol. D. B." 

("Paul") 185 

Madden. " Coins of the Jews " . . 174 
Mayor " Commentary on James " 225 
McGiffert, "History of Christi 
anity in the Apostolic Age" .... 8. 9 
McKenna. "Adventure of Life". . 154 

."Ad venture of Death" 241 

McLachlan, "St. Luke: the Man 
and His Work". . .74, 86. 89, 142, 151 

" Methodist Review " 166 

Migne. "Patrologia Graeca" 22 

Milligan, " Greek Papyri " 43 

, "New Testament Docu 
ments" 43, 57 f. 

Moffatt, "The Expositor" 168 

, "Introduction to the Litera 
ture of the N. T." ..1,4. 5, 12, 
14, 30 f., 38, 42, 46, 57, 64, 65, 
76, 80, 83, 87, 180, 187, 219, 
220, 221 
Mommsen, "The Provinces of the 

Roman Empire" 182 

Moulton, J. H., " The Expositor". . 70 

. " Grammar of N. T. Greek".. 17 

Moulton. W. J., Hastings s "Diet. 

of Christ and the Gospels" . . 146, 147 
Moulton and Milligan, "Vocab 
ulary of the N. T/ . .43, 96, 97, 122, 
153, 188, 191 

Murray, "Four Stages of Greek 
Religion" 237 

Nachmanson," Beitrage zur Kennt- 
nis der altgriechischen Volks- 

sprache" 17 

Naylor, "The Expositor" 106 

, " Hibbert Journal" 91 

Nestle, " The Expositor" 87 

Nikitsky, " Epigraphical Studies at 

Delphi " (1898) 175 

Nolloth, "The Rise of the Chris 
tian Religion" 39 

Norden, " Kunstprosa" 58 

Nosgen, " Apostelgeschichte " 170 

Orosius, "Adversus Paganos His- 

toriarum" 174, 175 

Orr, "The Virgin Birth of Christ" 

109, 114, 117 

Paley, "Horse Paulinas" 

Peake, " Introduction to the N. T." 
Pfleiderer, "Christian Origins,".. 2 

also 7) 
Plooij, "De Chronologic van het 

leven van Paulus" 

, "The Expositor" 173, 

Plummer, "Commentary on St. 
Luke" .7, 16, 17, 20, 22, 24, 26 
32, 33, 34, 42, 44, 45, 46, 48, 49 
52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 65, 67, 93 
125, 126, 127, 156, 157, 159, 160, 
167, 231, 239, 240 
-, Hastings s " D. B." . . 142, 147 

1 19 Plumptre, " Books of the Bible . 



, 31, 

, 51, 




Rackham, " Commentary on Acts" 
20. 23, 24. 26, 27, 35, 36, 56, 59, 170, 
171, 193, 196, 198, 199, 206, 208, 210, 
211. 222, 223, 225, 234, 235 
Ramsay. "The Bearing of Recent 
Discovery on the Trustworthi 
ness of the N. T." . .2, 16, 17, 19, 20, 
40 f, 64, 79, 82, 83, 85, 103, 114, 
118 f., 122, 123, 124, 127, 128, 129, 
168. 173, 179 f-. 182, 201, 204 

. "The Church in the Roman 

Empire" (1893). 2, 180, 184, 191 

, "The Cities of St. Paul". .2, 18, 

24 f.. 180, 183, 185, 187 

. "The Expositor ..44, 71,85, 172 

. " Galatians " 192, 193 

.Hastings s "D. B." ("Asi- 

archs") 188 

, "The Historical Geography 

of Asia Minor" 2, 179 

, "Luke the Physician". .2, 3, 10, 

22, 71. 98. 101, 111, 114 

" Pauline and Other Studies " 

2, 3, 8, 77 f., 177 f., 232 

, "St. Paul the Traveller and 

Roman Citizen". .2, 5, 12, 22, 
23, 27, 31, 33, 40, 41, 42, 44, 46, 
54, 81. 86, 166, 167, 174, 177, 
178. 183, 187. 192. 198. 203, 
204, 207. 208. 210, 212, 213, 
214, 216, 229 

, "Was Christ Born at Beth 
lehem? ..2. 53. 55 f.. 64, 65. 
103 f., 107, 108, llOf., 112, 119, 
121, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 
127, 128, 170, 171, 174, 175, 
180 f- 
" Record of Christian Work, The " . 206 

Renan, " Les Evangiles " 43 

Robertson, "Bible for Home and 

School" 69 

, "Contemporary Review" 72, 155 

, "The Divinity of Christ in 

the Gospel of John" (1916) 155 

, "A Grammar of the Greek 

N. T. in the Light of His 
torical Research" 5, 13, 17, 

58, 159 

, "The Life and Letters of 

John A. Broadus" 50 

, "The New Citizenship" 186 

, "Practical and Social As 
pects of Christianity" 225 

, "Studies in Mark s Gospel" 

(1919). . . .38, 39, 67, 68, 70, 155 
Robinson, Hastings s " Diet, of the 

Apostolic Church" ("Ship") 207, 214 
, "Some Thoughts on the In 
carnation" 104 



Ropes, " Epistle of James" 225 

Rosser, "Paul the Preacher" 229 

Round, "The Date of Galatians" 172 

Ruskin, "Sesame and Lilies" 52 

Salmon, V The Human Element in 

the Gospels" 44, 71 

Sanday, "Bampton Lectures" 

(1893) 170 

, "Book by Book" 43 

. "Expository Times" 65 

, "Oxford Studies in the Sy 
noptic Problem" (1911).. 38, 
62, 63, 67, 71, 73 

, "Sacred Sites of the Gos 
pels" 120 

Schmiedel, "Enc. Biblica," 30, 140, 219 

(see also 7, 227) 
Schuerer, "Zeitschrift f. Krit. 

Theol." (1876), 170 (see also 7) 
Schweitzer, "Paul and His Inter 
preters" 1 

Selwyn, "St. Luke the Prophet" 13, 17 

Smith, " Dictionary of the Bible ". . 31 

Smith, E., "Homiletic Review ".. 208, 


Smith, J., "The Voyage and Ship 
wreck of St. Paul" (1880).. 208 f., 

Soltau, "The Virgin Birth" 106 

Souter, "Pocket Lexicon of the 

Greek N. T." 43 

Stalker, "The Beauty of the 

Bible," 142 (see also 58, 104) 
" Standard Bible Dictionary, The " 36 
Stan ton, "The Gospels as Histori 
cal Documents" 32, 67, 72, 150 

Stawell, " St. Luke and Virgil" ... 19 

Stokes, " Gifford Lectures" 105 

Stouter, Hastings s "Diet, of the 
Apostolic Church " (" Citizen 
ship") 185 

, Hastings s " Diet of the Apos 
tolic Church " (" Colony " ) 183 
Streeter, "Oxford Studies".. .70, 71, 73 
Suetonius, " Lives of the Caesars " . . 167, 


" Sunday School Times" 103 

"Supernatural Religion" 6, 16 

Sweet, "Int. St. Bible Encycl." 

("Mary") Ill 

Swete, "The Gospel According to 
St. Mark" 67 

Tacitus, "Annals," 167 (see also 175) 
Taylor, " The Oxyrhynchus Logia" 

(1899) 7.7.T. 69 

, "The Oxyrhynchus Sayings 

of Jesus" (1905) 69 

Tertullian, "Adv. Marcion," 26, 129 
(see also 14) 

Torr, "Ancient Ships" (1894) 208 

Torrey, "American Journal of The 
ology " 89 

, "The Composition and Date 

of Acts" (1916). .7, 9, 18, 34, 
37, 38, 87 f. 

, "Studies in the History of 

Religions" 87 

Trench, "Notes on the Parables ". . 148 
Turner, Hastings s"D.B." ("Chro 
nology of the N. T.") . . . 124, 174, 175 

Usener, "Encycl. Biblica" 120 

Vars, "L Art nautique dans 1 an- 
tiquitS et specialement en grfcc" 
(1887) 208 

Viereck, " Philologus" 123 

Vigoroux, "Le nouveau Testa 
ment" iso 

Vogel, "Zur Characteristik des 
Lukas nach Sprache und Stil," 6 (see 
also 7) 

Von Soden, "History of Early 
Christian Literature" 2 

, "Introduction to the N. T." 80 

Wace, "Int. St. Bible Encycl." 

(" Miracles") 131, 134 

Wainel, " Die Gleichnisse Jesu "... 147 
Weiss, B., "Introduction to the 
Literature of the N. T.," 70 (see also 

Weiss, J., " Die Schriften des N. T. ; 
das Lucas-Evangelium," 6 (see also 7) 

Weizsacker, " Apostolic Age " 2 

Wendling, "Die Entstehung des 
Marcusevangeliums" (1908).. . . 67 

, "Urmarcus" (1905) 67 

Whi taker, " The Expositor" 28 

Wilcken, "Hermes,* 123 (see 118) 
Wilkinson, "A Johannine Docu 
ment in the First Chapter of S. 

Luke s Gospel " 66 

Williams, N. P., "Oxford Studies" 67 
Wilson, J. N., "Harvard Theologi 
cal Review" 88. 89 

Wright, "Gospel According to St. 

Luke in Greek" 64 f. 

, Hastings s "Diet, of Christ 

and the Gospels" 73, 155 f. 

Zahn, "Einleitung," 9, 11 (see also 7) 
Zenos, Hastings s "Diet, of the 
Apostolic Church " (" Dates ") . . 178 



Chap. 1:16.... Ill, 


Chap. 3:1 94 
Chap. 4 : 10 145 
11 . ... 144 

Chap. l:65f 66 
: 68-79. ... 240 
: 80 65 

: 18-20 

: 12 144 

Chap. 2 : 1-7 



23 145 

118, 120, 124, 

: 19. ... 108, 127 

24 . 145 

126, 127, 129, 

: 20-25. . . . 


33 f 144 


Chap. 2:6 


35-41 . . . 140 

: 1-3 

Chap. 3:17 


: 45-8 : 26 . 67 


Chap. 7:6 



Chap. 5:2 94 
13 139 

: 1 120 
:2-5 118 

Chap. 8:2 


15 94 


: 5-13 


: 26 10, 93 

122, 123, 127, 

: 14 f 


41 f 94 


: 23-27.... 


Chap. 6 : 39 f.... 68, 140 
: 45-8: 26. 68 

: 3 124, 125 
:4-7 161 

Chap. 9:2 


: 46 239 

:4 126 

: 5 f 
: 25 
Chap. 10 : 8 


Chap. 8 : 29 158 
Chap. 9:7 160 
17 f 94 

:5 125 
: 7 236 
:8 236 

Chap. 11:4-6 
: 22 


Chap. 10 : 25 95 
34 . 169 

: 13 240 
: 14 240 

: 25-30 


Chap. 13 67 
13-14 . 33 

: 19 65 
: 20 240 

Chap. 12 : 10 


47 94 

:21 65 

Chap. 13 149, 


62 . ... 160 

: 23-38. ... 66 

: 11 


Chap. 15: 15 196 
Chap. 16: 1 169 

: 24 236 
:26.. .33 157 f. 
: 29-32.. . 240 

: 34 



: 32 233 

: 36 
Chap. 16 : 16 


Chaps. 1-4 64 
Chaps. 1 and 2.. 18, 57, 
64, 65, 86, 103, 

: 34 144 
: 39 120 

: 17 


107, 161, 219, 

:49 115, 158 



991 222 

: 51-18 : 14 68 

Chap. 17 : 5 


Chap. 1 

5 18, 21, 42, 

:51 65,109 
:52 65, 162 

Chap. 19 : 23 


57, 86, 103, 

Chap. 3: 1-3.... 77, 166 

: 24 



: If 33, 166 

Chap. 21 


:1..32,178, 181 

Chap. 22 
Chap. 24 


44, 47, 49 f., 
55, 72 

: 15 33 
:21f 159 

24: 15 



:21 239 

Chap. 25 
Chap. 26: 51 


48, 49, 55, 78 

153, 158, 159, 

: 63 


5 42, 44, 45, 




51 flf 56 

:23 166 



4 4 55 

: 38 157 

Chap. 28: 1 


5-2:52. 57, 63 

Chap. 4:3-13 75 

9 240 

:3 158 f. 


26 166 

:9 158 f. 

Chap. 1:4 



31-33 104 
32 f 156 

: 16-30.. 75, 159 
:18 236 



34 f. 104 

: 20 48 

30 f 



:21 159 



103, 117, 156 

:22 159 



42-45 240 

:23..90, 95, 145 

Chap. 2:3 


43 157 
46-55 240 

: 40 f. 96 
:41 33 




Luke Continued 




... 156 


19 : 11-27 


5: 1-11 

22. . . . 

. . . 160 

147, 149, 


75, 96, 140 : 





. .93,97 

30. . . . 

... 150 

:37.. . 


: 15 f. . . 

... 96 


. . . 148 

: 41-44.. . 


: 16 

... 239 




... 239 


20 : 9-19 



. 94, 100 


. . . 239 


21 : 5-36 


: 19. ... 

... 68 

5-8. . . 

. . . 150 

: 8. . 


. . . 159 


... 148 

:20 33 f. 

: 23 f . . . 

... 66 


. . . 240 



: 24. ... 

... 159 

37 f. . . 

. .. 58 

: 28 


: 25 f . . . 

. . . 240 




: 29-33 

: 31 f. . . 

... 146 


150, 237 



: 34 

... 146 


. . . 150 



: 36-39. 

. . . 150 


... 164 

: 36 




... 159 



6-9. . . 

... 150 


22 : 14-24 : 10 


: 6 

. .. 94 


.96, 137 

: 15-22. . . 


: 12.... 

... 239 

13. . . . 

. . . 240 

: 19 flP 


: 17-19. 

... 96 


... 73 

: 19 f 


: 20 

... 236 


... 150 



: 21-49. 

... 75 


... 146 

: 32 



. . . 236 


.74, 168 

: 35 


: 39. ... 

... 146 


... 96 

: 39 


: 42. ... 

... 146 



-18. .. 

... 59 

: 40 




... 239 



... 149 

: 44. . . 


7 : 1-10. . 

... 136 


1-6.. . 

96, 137 

: 50 


: 1-8. . . 

... 75 


.. 58 

: 11-17. 



.. 96 

94, 96, 97, 


.96, 130 


. . 150 

: 66 


: 16.... 

. . . 240 


.. 236 

: 67. . . 


. . . 135 



.. 150 

: 69 


: 20-23. 

... 135 


. . . 237 

: 70 




22. . . . 

... 236 


23 : 2 




... 146 




236, 237 


... 146 

: 32-54. . . . 


: 24. ... 

... 146 


. . . 150 



: 36 f . . . 

... 58 


... 150 

: 46 


: 37. ... 

. . . 236 


. . . 150 

: 50 


: 40-43. 

... 150 



: 53 


... 236 


8, 149, 

150, 235 

: 54 



8 : 1-3. . . 

. . . 237 



148, 235 





... 236 


... 150 

24: 1 



... 75 




: 4-15. . 

... 146 

146, 150 

: 10 


: 5-15. . 

... 147 


. . . 186 

: 13 


: 9.. 142 




148, 150 


: 10. ... 

... 144 



148, 150 

33, 161, 


... 58 


: 38-43 .... 



. . . 145 


148, 231 


: 22-25. 

... 140 



: 45 


: 27. ... 

... 94 


... 148 

: 46-49. . . . 


: 28. ... 

... 159 



:46 33, 



... 139 


150, 237 

: 52 


: 35. ... 

.94, 139 


. 150 

: 53 


. . . 139 

: 20. 187 f., 236 


10, 92 f . 


... 98 


: 55 

. .. 94 


... 236 






... 95 




... 188 

: 14.... 106, 


: 10-17. 

. . . 140 

7-10. . 

... 150 

: 18 


14 f . . . 

... 68 




: 18.. 


96, 97. 137 

: 34.... 112, 


: 20-27. 

... 164 


. 74, 168 

: 49 




. . . 240 





158, 160 

20 f . . . 

... 149 




: 22 

164, 169 



... 150 

4: 16 ff 


: 23 f . . . 

... 146 


1-8. . . 

150, 239 





... 160 


. . . 150 

: 17 


: 38 f . . . 

... 94 


. . . 150 

: 18 115, 


: 38. ... 

. . . 239 


. . . 240 

: 19 f 



. . . 164 


... 239 

: 19 


: 51-12 

59 73 


.95, 146 

: 24 




43. ... 

... 240 






... 234 



2-10. . 

. . . 236 

: 8 f 


10 : 9 

. . . 95 


... 236 

ij f 


, .. 95 



... 186 

: 19 




John Continued 

Chap. 5 : 15 100 

Chap. 13 : 4 182, 206 

Chap. 7 : 2 fl 168 

: 16 98 

: 5 48 

:2 14 

: 17 f 200 

: 8 182 

:41f 120 

: 18 200 

:11 100 

: 42 120 

:29-32.... 221 

: 12 182 

Chap. 8: 19 115 

: 33-42 200 

: 13 182 

:48 117 

: 33 200 

: 14 183 

Chap. 9 : 6 f 134 


: 16-41 228 

Chap. 10 : 6 145 

32, 169, 171 

: 45 192 

: 25 115 


: 46 224 

Chap. 11: 17 f 168 
: 17 74 

122, 123, 126, 127 
Chaps. 6 and 7 84 

:50 192 
Chap. 14 : 3 193 

: 44 134 

Chap. 6:5 22,222 

:5 193 

Chap. 12:1 74,168 

: 9 222 

:6 183 

: 20 21 

: 11-14.... 200 

: 8-18. . 187, 193 

: 34 162 

Chap. 7:2-53 222 

:8 100 

Chap. 16 : 25 145 

: 16 187 

:11 183 

: 29 145 

:51 224 

: 12-17. ... 228 

Chap. 18 : 10 94 

:53 222 

: 19 22, 193 

:31 200 

:56 222 

: 20 194 

Chap. 19 : 12 196 

: 58 20 

:21 22 

: 15 196 

:59 222 

: 23 23 

Chaps. 20 and 21 ... 134 
Chap. 20: 1 169 
: 30 f 156 

Chap. 8 84 
8:1 .84,222 
: 3 200 

: 26 22 
Chap. 15:81,82,172,173 
15 : 1-30 82 

:31 42 

: 5-40 87 

:2-29 171 f. 

Chap. 21 : 1-14 140 

: 7 85 

: 4 224 

: 6. . . .134 

Chaps. 9-28 83 

:7-ll 221 

: 24 134 

Chap. 9 229 

: 13-21.... 224 

9: 1-30.... 81-84 

: 18 f 225 


: 1 f 200 

: 22 f 224 

Chaps 1-15 

: 18 94,100 

: 22 22 

18, 37, 77, 84, 86 flf. 

: 26-30 171 

: 23-29 224 

Chaps. 1-14 83 

: 31-13 : 13 84 

: 23 22 

Chaps. 1-12 

:33 100 

: 24 224 

76f.,84, 85, 87, 222 

:36 86 

: 25. . . . 224 

Chaps. 1-5 57, 84, 85, 86 

Chap. 10 223 

: 30 22 

Chap. 1 85 

10 : 1 f 193 

:35 22 

1:1 1,4,5,31, 

: 10 100 

:41 182 

36, 37, 48, 

: 11 214 

Chaps. 16-28. . . .37, 187 

164, 235 

: 28-29.... 221 

Chap. 16 228 

: 3 99 

: 34-43 221 

16:6 182, 183 

: 4 99 

: 36-43. ... 48 

:7 182 

: 11-15 : 35 89 

:47 221 

: 9-40 178 

: 14 84 

Chaps. Hand 12... 174 

: 9 f 23 

: 15-22. ... 220 

Chap. 11:4-17 221 

: 10-40 7 

19 . 86 

: 4 53 

:10..27, 75, 182 

: 64 240 

:5 100 

:11.. ..182,206 

Chap. 2 85 

: 19-27 22 

: 12 183 

2 : 1-13 86 

: 25 f 26 

: 13 27 

: 9 ... 182 

: 27-30 

: 17..27.135.199 

: 10 182 

81, 174, 175 

:18 135 

: 11 182 

:27 31 

: 19 192 

: 14-39 .... 220 

:28.. .25,26,83 

: 20 192 

: 22 134 

: 29 f 171 f. 

: 21-23 

: 28 240 

: 30 175 

185, 192 

: 47 240 

Chap. 12 : 1-23 175 

: 22 192 

Chaps. 3-5 85,87 
Chap. 3 : 7 f 99 

: 1 f 181 
: 2 174, 200 

: 26-34 135 
:35f 192 

8f . 240 

: 3 fl 181 

:37 186 

12-26 . 221 

: 12 49 

: 38 179 

: 12 . . 85 

:13-17.... 200 

Chaps. 17-19 81 

: 16 88 

:17 174 

Chap. 17 24 

Chaps. 4 and 5 236 
Chap. 4 : 1 f 200 

: 20-23 
174, 181 

17:4 195 
: 5 195 

:8-12... . 221 

: 23 99 

: 6 195 

:19 221 

: 25-31.... 181 

:7 196 

35 . 93 


: 9. . . .196 

: 36 182 

171, 174, 175 

: 10 197 

: 38 f 93 

Chaps. 13-28 76,85 

: 11 2 

Chap. 5 : 3-4 221 
:5 99 

Chaps. 13 and 14 ... 81 
Chap. 13 174 

: 14. ... 197, 206 
:18 197 

6 99 

13: 1 

: 19 f 197 

9 . .221 

17, 18, 22, 75, 

: 22-31.... 226 

-.10 99 


:28 157 



Chap. 17 : 32-34 197 

Chap. 24 : 1-9 202 
: 1 181,190 

Chap. 28 : 9 f. 10, 27, 135 
11.. . .207,215 

: 34 188 

:2-28 230 

14. 228 

:63 120 
Chap. 18: 1 f.. . .175, 176 

:3 5 
: 10-21. ... 202 

16 177, 228 
17-28 228 

: 2 175 

: 14 194 

30-31 30 

: 6 224 

: 22 202 

:8 194 
: 12 fl 175 

:24f 203 
:26 203,228 


: 12 182 


Chap. 1 . . . 229 

:13 194 

176 f., 181,203 

l:3f 113 

: 14 f 195 

Chap. 25 : 1-5 203 

: 14 19 

: 17 195 

: 9 203 

Chap. 2 229 

: 18 f. 225 

: 10-12 203 

Chap. 3 62 

: 18 206 

: 11 186 

Chap. 8 227 

: 21 f 206 

:12 186 

Chaps. 9-11 194, 223 

:22 22, 171 

: 13-27 204 

Chap. 9: 11 156 

: 23.... 182, 183 
Chap. 19 : 2-16 81 

: 14-22. ... 230 
: 19 60 

Chap. 13: 1.. . . 191 
Chap. 14 : 5 47 

:10 182 

: 24-27 230 

Chap. 15 : 18 f. . . . 134 

: 11 98 

: 27 186 

Chap. 16:7-21 18 

:21 78, 182 

Chap. 26 229 

:21 18 

: 24-27 199 

26 : 1-23 204 

: 26 f 199 
:26 182 

: 10 f 200 
: 10 


:27 120 

84, 200, 222 

Chap. 1 : 17. . . . 226 

: 29 81 

: 24-32 204 

: 26-31.... 237 

:31 198 

: 25 5 

Chap. 2:4 226 

:33 198 

: 32 186 

Chap. 9:1 134 

: 34 188 
: 35 198 

Chap. 27 58,206ff. 
27 : 1 210 

Chap. 11:23-25.... 74 
Chap. 12 : 1-3 205 

: 37 199 

: 2.. . 12 81 

: 9 f 134 

:38 188,198 

: 3 210 

-.28-30.... 134 

: 39 198 
Chap. 20: 1 199,206 

:4 212,214 
: 5 182 

Chap. 13 227 
Chap. 14 : 22 134 

:4 81 


Chap. 15 227 

: 5-28 : 31 . 78 

182, 212, 214 

15:8 134 

:5fl 178 

: 9 f. 210 

:5 27 

:9 210 


: 6-28 : 31 . 7 
: 6 206 
: 9-12. . 101, 135 
: 13-20 : 14 206 

:10 215 
:11.. .210,214 
:12.. .210,213 
:13.. .210,213 

Chap. 2 : 17 fl. . . . 144 
Chap. 5:21 117 
Chap. 8:9 163 

: 15, , . . 228 
: 18-35 226 
: 25 35 
Chap. 21 : 1-10 101 
:8f 49 
:8 84 
: 15 180 
: 16 49 
: 27-23: 30 171 
: 17 f 228 

: 14 f. 213 
:14.. .209,213 
: 15-17.... 213 
: 16 212,214 
: 17.... 214, 215 
:20 211 
: 21-26.... 211 
:21.., . 182 

:23 28,224 
: 25 28 
Chap. 10 : 10 226 
Chap. ll:24f 200 
: 25 206 
: 26 206 
Chap. 12 : 12 134 
: 18 13,21 

: 18. . 49, 75 84 


:21 55 

209, 213, 214 


: 25 225 
: 27-31.... 200 

:28 209 
: 29 215 

Chap. 1 : 16 134 
: 18 171 f 

: 33-36 201 

: 30-32.... 211 

Chap. 2 82 

: 38 201 
: 39-22 : 23 201 

: 30.... 214, 215 
:32 215 

2: 1-10.82, 171 f. 
: 1 171 

: 39 185 
Chap. 22 229 
22: 1-21 228 

: 33-36.... 211 
: 37 207 
:38 215 

:3 21 
Chap. 3 156,194 
3:5 134 

: 2 69 


: 15 . . . 191 

: 4 f 200 

206, 212, 214, 215 

: 17 224 

: 4 200 


: 19. . . . 222 

: 17 100 
: 24-29 201 

209, 213/214 

:4* 211 

: 23-25.... 191 
28 238 

:28 20,185 

Chap. 28 : 1-10 211 

Chap. 4 191 

: 30 201 
Chap. 23 : 1-10 201 

:2 18 

:4 is 

4:2 191 
:4... . 113 

: 1 185 

:s 135 

: 13.. .13,23,27 

: 26-30 201 
: 27-30 230 

:6 9 

:7 187 

: 21-31.... 191 
: 24 147 

:35 202 

:8 10,135 

Chap. 6:5 215 




Chap. 1:27 186 

Chap. 2:5-11 163 

: 20 82 

Chap. 3 227 

3:20 186 


Chap. l:16f 137 

chap - 4 ;i8-f 14 :::: it 

: 10 

12, 39, 67, 81 
: 12-14.... 18 

: 12 47 

: 14 


Chap. 2 : 3 f 196 f. 

Chap. 3:10.! . . . . . 196 

Chap. 2:2 


.. 191 



Chap. 1:5 
Chap. 3:4 
: 10-18.... 


Chap. 1:15-17.. 


Chap. 4:5 

.. 47 



14 16 

17. . . . 


Chap. 2:12... 


* 21 




Chap. 4 : 16 



Chap. 3:13 

.. 190 



Chap. 1:1 


V. 23 f 

.. 18 

: 16 


24 12, 13, 
67, 74, 

16, 28, 



Chap. 3:5 


Chap. 4 : 15 
Chap. 6 : 19 
Chap. 7:25 


, .. 96 

Chap. 18 


Chap. 9 : 16 f . . . . 

, . . 191 

18: 17 


Chap. 13:13 

. .. 205 

Chap. 21:1 



Chap. 1 : 13 187 

Chap. 23 : 16 187 

Chap. 33 : 19 187 

Chap. 40:38 156 

Chap. 13 : 12 93 

Chap. 7:5-17 156 


Chap. 21:12 225 

Chap. 30:1 225 

Chap. 32 : 17 225 


2:7 158 

89 156 

90:1 157 



Chap. 2:20 50 


Chap. 7:14 105 

Chap. 40: If 95 

Chap. 43 : 6 91 

Chap. 58:6 159 

Chap. 61 : 1 f 159 


Chap. 29: 1 225 

:25 225 

Chap. 4:20 157 f. 


Chap. 21 : 7 99 


Chap. 7 : 13 f 163 

:13 161 

Chap. 9:27 33 


Chap. 5:2 120 



Chap. 4 : 13 f 223 

Chap. 5:11 99 


Chap. 6:35 49 

Chap. 51 : 10 157 


Chap. 2:32 49 


Chap. 4:11 97 

Chap. 17:36...^... 157 

B. U. 

No. 113,11 157 

1079, 24 f 202 

1179,20 196 

P. FAT. 

No. II, 9 f. 88 

P. OXT. 

No. 119,10 196 

254 122 


No. 256 122 

294,23 196 

375 157 

939,25 96 

1154,8 153 

No. 7006 157 

P. PAR. 

No. 47,23ff 96 

47,27 100 

No. 6... 



No. 121 95 

442 95 

971,4 100 


No. 11,25 97 

111,59 122 

University of Toronto 

Acme Library Card Pocket 

Under Pat. "Ref. Index,File"